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WITH PORTER IN 
NORTH MISSOURI 



A Chapter in the History of the War 
===Between the States== 



JOSEPH A. MUDD 



THE NATIONAL PUBLISHING COMPANY 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

1909 



COPYRIGHT, 1909 
By JOSEPH A. MUDD 



DEDICATION 



To the Missouri Confederate this book is lovingly and grate- 
fully dedicated. 

He braved incredible difficulties and dangers for the opportunity 
to enlist in the struggle for liberty. 

He did his duty in camp, on the march, in battle. 

He repined not at hunger, thirst and nakedness. 

He hated oppression, cruelty and cowardice. 

He gloried in the traditions of his State and his people. 

He never forgot that Missouri is the sweetest word ever uttered. 

He, in the rosy dawn of youth, threw in the balance life, 
friends, fortune, and everything that could make the future safe, 
comfortable and desirable; in the sober evening of his life, in plenty 
or in want, in sympathy or in obloquy, every heartbeat registers a 
new approval of the self-consecration made in the hour when wild 
enthusiasm fired his mind. 

He has kept the faith. 



ERRATUM 

Page 277, 18th line from top 
for "encloned^read "eadviedj* 



CONTENTS 



Page 

The Preceding Yeabs ...» 9 

Joins Missoubi State Guabd 24 

Captain Penny's (Company . . 27 

The Plan Outlined 38 

Caftxtbe of Memphis . . 53 

The Mukdee or Aylwaed 65 

The Pabolinq of Captain Dawson 76 

The Battle of Vassab Hill ... . . 82 

Edwabd D. Stillson Pbisoneb 102 

That Fubious Ride 113 

Battle of Flobida 119 

"You Men Make Fun of Bvebythinq" 135 

The Pbisonees Abe Paboled 142 

The Battle of Santa Fe 148 

Battle of Moose's Mill 159 

We Leave the Regiment . 198 

On to Richmond 215 

Tom and Stephen ... 221 

Wheee the Othebs Went 229 

Captain S. B. Penny 237 

Fbom Newark to Kibksville 241 

"May God Fobgive You This Cold-Blooded Mukdeb" . . 268 

Temporaby Disbandment 283 

The Capture of Palmyra and the Murder of Allsman . . 292 

The Palmyba Massacre 299 

Last Days in Nobth Missouri 310 

His Last Battle 318 

Letters From Colonel Porter's Family 327 

Violation op Paeoles 334 

Was the Cause Bad? 344 

Would It Have Been Better? ... .... 361 

"We Done Oub Best" 366 

Appendix — 

A — The Missoubi Senatobs 382 

B — Inhuman Wabfabe .... .... 383 

C — The Election of 1860 . . 390 

D — SuppBESsiON of the State Joubnal . . . . 391 

E — Genebal Green's Method .... 391 



CONTENTS 

Page 

F — ^Mt Fibst Cohpant 392 

G — HoESE Stealino 3^5 

H — Two Lincoln County Union Men 396 

I — A McsTEB Roll 397 

J — The .Last Guns 400 

K — The Blacefoot Ranoebs ... ... 401 

L — The Bdbning op Joineb's Home . 402 

M — ^De. W. W. Macfaelane . . ... 403 

N — Colonel Oateb, of Alabama . . .... 405 

— A Rebel Letteb Cabbieb . . 406 

P — ^Too Bad Even fob Hublbubt . . 407 

Q — ^A Misfit Officeb .... 408 
R — The Palmtba Coubieb's Account of the Caftube of 

Palhyba 409 

S — The Palmyra Massacbe 415 

T — Affaib at Pobtland, Mo 436 

U — Skibmish at Califobnia House, Mo 439 

V — The Bubnino of Houses 441 

W— A Look Back . . 442 

X — The Ihmobtal Six Hundbed . 444 

y — The Illubtbations 446 

Z — Additional Names ... .... 447 

AA — ^Acknowledgments .... ... 450 




PREFACE 



I write this little narrative because it is a modest, and 
I believe a truthful, contribution to the history of mj native 
State; because the results created by the energy and skill 
of the chief actor ought to be recorded ; because his character, 
embracing the highest ideals of honor and duty, deserves the 
tribute — and a greater one than I can render — and because 
no other on the fast diminishing list of those who followed 
him has accepted the task. I regret that the work was not 
undertaken when they were living who could give valuable 
information not now attainable and when my own facilities 
for its prosecution were better. My official and editorial 
duties have for years consumed at least twelve hours' time 
every day, and other matters have frequently encroached 
upon the two or three hours each evening allotted to this 
work. 

As far as I have been able to ascertain, Colonel Porter 
made but one official report, and that was of the engagement 
at Hartville, Southwest Missouri, where he received his death 
wound. The official reports of the Federal officers were 
generally fairly accurate as to the movements of their own 
troops and the relation of events from their own point of 
view. As a rule, the newspaper accounts of the operations in 
Missouri were prodigies of imtruth. To get as near the 
truth as possible, to gather up the missing links in the chain 
of facts that dropped out of memory, to make sure of facts 
which I think I remember and to learn of occurrences beyond 
my range of vision, I addressed letters of inquiry to every 
known survivor. Confederate and Federal. The responses, 



in their number and interest manifested, were surprising and 
exceedingly gratifying. To stimulate the recollection of the 
■writers on certain incidents, especially concerning proper 
names, and to reconcile conflicting statements, made necessary 
an extended and painstaking correspondence. All this had 
to be done before the serious treatment of the work was taken 
up, and this involved at times inconvenient delay. 

The most unsatisfactory feature of the whole undertaking 
is the failure of my efforts to obtain the names of Porter's 
men. With almost ceaseless marching and fighting it was 
impossible to make a muster roll, and I never heard that one 
was attempted. There are six survivors of my company. 
Including the commander, Captain Penny, there were either 
twenty-one or twenty-two members. My memory is very 
clear about this, yet I could only recall fourteen names. One 
of the survivors has added one ; another three, one of which 
I rejected. All effojis through correspondence and adver- 
tisements in newspapers to find the missing four or five 
names have been unsuccessful. The same proportion of suc- 
cess has been attained in a very few instances and in some 
of the companies the failure has been total. The name of 
every man who participated in Colonel Porter's remarkable 
campaign in North Missouri ought to be preserved. The 
inability to give them detracts from the historical value of 
this narrative. 

The faults in arrangement and weakness of expression are 
due in some measure to haste in the preparation of the 
manuscript after the collection of the material. This was 
made on the representation of many comrades and not a 
few former foes that if they were to read of the events 
they helped to create forty-seven years ago the narration must 
be put before them quickly. The justice of this appeal 
dispels what vanity I might feel by the expenditure of labor 
and care on details. 

Hyattsville, Maryland, 

September 10, 1909. 



THE PRECEDING YEARS 

The decade of years preceding the War between the North 
and the South was a period of great political excitement in 
Missouri. Thomas Hart Benton, able, patriotic, egotistic, 
dictatorial, had, after refusing to be governed by the instruc- 
tions of the Legislature embodied in the Jackson resolutions, 
failed of election for a sixth term in the United States 
Senate. Two years later he was elected from the St. Louis 
district a member of the Thirty-third Congress and before 
its expiration he was an unsuccessful candidate for the 
Senate; strong enough to prevent the re-election of David 
R. Atchison and to cause a vacancy in that line for two 
years. In 1856 he was one of three candidates for governor 
of the State, and received less than one-fourth of the votes 
east. At the following session of. the legislature he was an 
unsuccessful candidate for the Senate in his own line,* the 
term of Henry S. Geyer being about to expire, and also 
to fill the vacancy in the line of Barton. In all these con- 
tests the discussions of the questions at issue were character- 
ized by a strength and a bitterness never before, or since, 
equaled. Benton's three score and ten years had not weak- 
ened the grasp of his great intellect nor had they cooled 
the fire of his personal resentments. At every step he met 
foes worthy of his skill and courage. James S. Green and 
John B. Henderson were his intellectual peers; then David 
R. Atchison, John B. Clark, Trusten Polk, James H. Birch 
and Robert M. Stewart, the giants in Missouri politics; of 
great ability, resourceful and vigilant were Lewis Vital Bogy, 
Claiborne Fox Jackson, Robert E. Acock, William Claude 
Jones, John Forbes Benjamiq, Ferdinand Kennett, George 



*See appenoiz A. 



10 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Webb Houston and Carty Wells, Benton's chief lieu- 
tenants were able, resolute and devoted. Frank Blair and 
E. Gratz Brown, Kentuckians and cousins, were men who 
despised popular applause, laughed at disaster and gained 
courage in defeat. With John D. Stevenson, Charles Sims, 
Thomas A. King, George W. Miller and Charles Jones, they 
fought a magnificent battle and lost. The Whig party in 
its last days numbered in its ranks the ablest men of its 
whole life in Missouri, James Sidney Rollins, Samuel 
Caruthers, Mordecai Oliver, Thomas L. Anderson, James 
Overton Brodhead, Eobert C. Ewing, Eobert A. Eiitcher, 
Charles H. Hardin, Nathaniel W. Watkins, James Winston, 
William Newland and others. The fight of these men to 
maintain the life of their party and the bitter war between 
the Benton and the anti-Benton Democrats had not ceased 
before the Kansas troubles set the whole State afire. 

The sentiment of the people on the question of slavery 
might, to this generation, seem peculiar. In 1827 Senators 
Barton and Benton with about twenty leaders of the two 
political parties, representing every district in the State, 
held a secret meeting* to consider how to get rid of slavery. 
The action at this meeting was unanimous. Resolutions 
were drawn up, printed and distributed among those present. 
These in the shape of memorials were to be placed before 
the people all over the State on the same day, just 
preceding the next election, through all the candidates 
for oflBce in each political party who were to urge 
the people to sign them. The members were certain that 
their combination had the power to succeed in their pur- 
pose. The details were to be completed before the day 
agreed upon and until then the whole matter would be a deep 
secret. Before the day arrived it was widely published in 
the newspapers that Arthur Tappan, a prominent merchant 



'Swlteler'a History of MlSBOurl, page 222. 



THE PRECEDING YEARS 11 

of New York, the founder of the Emancipator and the Jour- 
nal of Commerce, and the first president of the Antislavery 
Society, had entertained at his table some negro men and 
had permitted them to ride with his daughters in his car- 
riage. This incident raised so great a storm of indignation 
that the memorials never saw the light. The majority of 
the slaveholders of Missouri were opposed to slavery, but 
they contended that it was a matter for their own settle- 
ment and they deeply resented outside interference.^ They 
would settle it in their own way and at their own time. 
Congress, influenced by antislavery sentiment, had treated 
Missouri unjustly at its admission as a State of the Union 
and, in consequence, William Clark, the Virginian, who for 
seven years had filled with eminent success the oflBce of 
governor of the Territory, was defeated for governor of the 
State by Alexander McNair, the Pennsylvanian, by a 
majority of 4,000, in a total vote of 9,000, because the latter 
was a more outspoken advocate of slavery. 

In the settlement of the Territory of Kansas the develop- 
ment of its industries waa secondary to the struggle to deter- 
mine its political future. The country was intensely in- 
terested in the progress of this movement, but Western Mis- 
souri was the storm center of excitement. To offset and 
cheek the steady growth of bona fide settlements by citizens 
of Missouri and other Southern States the Massachusetts 
Emigrant Aid Society, incorporated by the legislature of 
that State with a capital limited to $5,000,000, as stated by 
Eli Thayer, the author of the bill to incorporate, sent men 
to Kansas instead of families.* A prominent church in 
Brooklyn was turned by its pastor into a bazaar for raising 



'Owing to the denunciations which the abolitionists of the North were 
heaping upon slavery and slaveholders, the Southerners not only refused 
to take any measures for ridding themselves of what a large number of 
them regarded as an evil, but they would not listen to arguments In 
favor of a policy with which, only a few short years before, they had 
been In full sympathy. — ^Missouri, a Bone of Contention, by Luden Carr, 
page 176, referring to events In 18S6. 

nVebb's Battles and Biographies of Mlssourlans, page 31. 



12 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

money to buy Sharpe's rifles to make Kansas a free State. 
The plow marks the path to civilization, but the rifle is a 
more effective agent for the immediate settlement of issues. 
The first election in the Territory was held in 1854 and a 
pro-slavery delegate, J. W. Whitefield, a native of Tennessee, 
was elected and served through the Thirty-fourth Congress 
without protest. Massachusetts men arrived one day and 
voted the next, but more Missourians arrived the same day 
and voted. The following March a large number of Mis- 
sourians went over, and finding they had three hundred men 
more than were needed to carry Lawrence, that number rode 
twelve miles farther and carried another precinct for mem- 
bers of the Territorial legislature. David R. Atchison, the 
president pro tempore of the United States Senate, said in 
urging Missourians to vote in Kansas, "If men a thousand 
miles off can send men to abolitionize Kansas, how much is 
it the duty of those who live within a day's journey of the 
Territory, and whose peace and property depend on the 
result, to meet and send young men over the border to 
vote." * 

The church-provided rifle won. The blood it spilled, 
guilty and innocent, stimulated the appetite of revenge for 
ten years. Kansan, murder, rapine, are words of the same 
length and, according to Missourians, the second and third 
were found in the tracks of the first. There is abundant 
free-state evidence that armed men who balked not at the 
crimes of assassination, arson and robbery were arrayed 
against the majority and that the majority lost.* 

When these operations were carried across the line into 
Southeast Missouri, Governor Stewart, a native of New 
York, who had no love for the South, ordered Qflneral 
Daniel M. Frost, of the State militia, to drive out the in- 



>Webb's Battles and Blotrraphles of MlssonrtanB, page 32. 

■Cnnsnlt RemiDlscenrea of Old John Brown, by Dr. Geo. W. Brown, editor 
of the KanBaB Herald of Freedom, and a very active free-state partisan. 
See also Life of John Brown, by F. B. Sanborn. 



THE PRECEDING YEARS 13 

vaders. Frost found General Hamey with United States 
soldiers already on the scene of disorder. The Kansas ter- 
rorist, finding himself threatened by a superior force of 
Federal and Mssouri troops, disbanded his followers and 
abandoned the field of his activity. A year later the same 
terrorist and others still more bloodthirsty "came with 
United States commissions in their pockets and at the head 
of regularly enlisted troops"^ and did work which paled their 
former crimes into insignificance. As against United States 
soldiers and as United States soldiers their work was the 
same, their instruments — the bullet, the rope, the torch — 
the same^ and through it all the stimulus was plunder. In 
the meantime General Frost left on the scene of "the 
deserted and charred remains of once happy homes" three 
companies of rangers and one of artillery under command 
of Lieutenant Colonel John S. Bowen and order was main- 
tained for a' time. 

The division in the ranks of the Democratic party, result- 
ing in the naming of two candidates for the Presidency, 
produced great excitement and great bitterness in Missouri. 
These sentiments were increased by the apprehension of 
disaster following the very probable election of Lincoln. In 
1856 no electoral ticket for Fremont was named in Missouri. 
Benton's organ, the Missouri Democrat, was somewhat 
favorable to Fremont,^ but Benton announced that he would 
support Buchanan against his own son-in-law, and the 
Democrat placed the Democratic electoral ticket at the head 
of its editorial page. Still the election of Fremont was con- 
sidered very probable. General D. M. Frost was a member 
of the State Senate in 1855 and he introduced in that body 
a bill to provide for raising a volunteer force of fifty 



'Carr's Missouri, paee 269. 

'See Appendix B. 

•This Is my recollection of the attitude of the Missouri Democrat. I 
have had no opportunity to verify Its correctness. It seems that I 
remember It clearly. 



14 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

thousand men to be used in "preventing our Northern and 
Southern brethren from flying at each other's throats, as 
they will probably do ^t the next Presidential election in 
1856, or passing that, then certainly in 1860, unless the 
border States take action such as this to keep the peace."^ 
A change of less than fifty thousand votes in Pennsylvania 
and Illinois in his favor would have given Fremont the 
Presidency, Missourians generally believed that the elec- 
tion of Fremont meant civil war. They were sure that the 
election of Lincoln did. At the August election, 1860, for 
State officers, James B. Gardenhire, the Kepublican candi- 
date for governor, received six thousand votes while his 
associate for lieutenant governor, James lindsay, received 
two thousand more. That there were so many "enemies to 
the State" inside of the State was a matter of surprise and 
deep mortification to the people. The people of today have 
but little conception of the intensity of political sentiment 
of that day. The general resentment was increased by the 
fact that Edward Bates, a native of Virginia and long resident 
in St. Louis, a man of high character, brother of the second 
governor of the State, was a candidate for the Republican 
nomination for President, and also that at the Presidential 
election in November the Republican vote amounted to 
seventeen thousand* — ^more than double the number cast in 
the preceding August. • While not unexpected, the hoisting 
of the National Republican ticket by the Missouri Demo- 
crat caused great indignation. An incident, illustrating the 
temper of the people of St. Louis, I give from memory, not 
having the opportunity to verify it. A day or two after 
the ticket appeared some employee in the mechanical depart- 
ment of the paper inserted the word "Black," so as to make 
the line read, "The National Black Republican Ticket." 
The whole edition was worked off before discovery, to the 

*Carr'i HIssourl, page 300. 
'See Appendix C. 



TEE PBECEDING YEARS 15 

amusement of the Eepublican, the Douglas Democratic 
organ, and the Bulletin, the Breckinridge Democratic paper. 
The next day an offer of a reward for the discovery of the 
offender appeared in the editorial columns of the Democrat. 

An element in the North, respectable in numbers and 
character, oppose'd war upon sovereign States. Edward 
Everett, of Massachusetts, late candidate for Vice Presi- 
dent on the ticket with John Bell, of Tennessee, nominated 
on a platform of the "Constitution of the country, the union 
of the States and the enforcement of the laws," said in 
Faneuil Hall, Boston, February 2d: "To expect to hold 
fifteen States in the Union by force is preposterous. The 
idea of a civil war accompanied, as it would be, by a servile 
insurrection, is too monstrous to be entertained for a 
moment. If our sister States must leave us, in the name of 
Heaven let them go in peace." Similar sentiments were 
voiced by men of character and influence in New York, 
Ohio, Indiana, Hlinois and Iowa, but Missourians knew 
current political history too well to misinterpret the pur- 
pose of the dominant party. They knew how little respect 
it had for the rights of States and for law. They knew that 
fourteen of the seventeen IsTorthem States had on their 
statute books laws intended to nullify an act of Congress 
and which were in violation of the Constitution of the 
United States. They knew, too, that the most adroit leaders 
of the dominant party believed war was necessary for the 
perpetuation of power, and party was above law, above 
Constitution, above country, above everything. 

Governor Stewart, a Northern man, in his retiring 
message placed all the blame for the condition of affairs upon 
the North. If the Cotton States persisted in secession they 
should go in peace. Missouri should take "all proper 
measures to secure the just acknowledgment and protection 
of our rights, and in the final failure of this, a resort to the 
last painful remedy of separation." Yet he stood for the 



16 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Union and when war came he gave it his support and 
welcomed its "greater severity." His course and that of 
other Democrats whose party affiliations had been with the 
Southern wing of the party, and who in the crisis renounced 
their associations, many of them with the new bom zeal of 
the convert, forgetting humanity in their exercise of 
military authority, was a potent agency in the creation and 
maintenance of the hate that fired both sides. 

Claiborne F. Jackson possessed the full vigor of mature 
manhood when he delivered his inaugural address as gover- 
nor of Missouri. He was graceful in deportment, dignified 
and courteous among men, a bom Democrat, strong in 
oratory, courageous in discussion and action, well read in 
political history, resourceful and strong in affairs. He loved 
the Union, but he loved more the South which gave him 
birth, and more than all, he loved Missouri, for forty years 
his home. His address was a comprehensive and forceful 
analysis of the situation. Like Governor Stewart, in his 
final message, he placed the whole responsibility for the im- 
pending dissolution upon the North; like him he hoped for 
the preservation of the Union under proper guarantees, but 
unlike Stewart, who declared that in the separation Mis- 
souri's place was in the Union, Jackson asserted that the 
duty and interest of Missouri pointed to the South. The 
two messages created a profound impression, as did the letter 
of Lieutenant Governor Reynolds, given to the public the 
day the legislature convened. This was an able review of 
the situation and an appeal to the legislature for energetic 
measures to protect the constitutional rights of the State. 
Among other propositions he exposed the sophistry of 
those who, like President Buchanan, contended that while 
there was no power to coerce a sovereign State, there was 
power to compel the citizens of a seceded State to obey the 
laws of the United States. "In our system," he said, "a 
State is its people, citizens compose that people, and to use 



THE PRECEDING YEARS 17 

force against citizens acting by State authority is to coerce 
the State and to wage war against it. To levy tribute, 
molest commerce, or hold fortresses, are as much acts of war 
as to bombard a city."^ 

Thomas Caute Eeynolds was of South Carolina birth and 
Virginia ancestry. In the campaign of slander, considered 
so necessary in that day, it was said that his accident of 
birth was his boast and chief claim for consideration. 
Nothing was farther from the truth. He was a man of 
great ability, a pleasing and forceful speaker, stronger in 
action than discussion, of uncommon good sense and pru- 
dence, of passionless judgment, indefatigable industry, stem 
integrity, conciliatory in disposition and manner, inflexible 
in principle and courageous in every thought and act. The 
most learned man in the State, Latin, Greek and three or 
four living languages were as familiar to him as his mother 
tongue. Skillful in diplomacy through education and 
through experience gained abroad, there was none fitter to 
swell the tide of secession. 

In 1859 or 1860 Eugene Longuemare established the St. 
Louis Bulletin. It was a vigorous exponent of the Southern 
view of national politics. In the gubernatorial election of 
1860, under the management of Thomas L. Snead, it op- 
posed Jackson and Eeynolds because they supported 
Douglas and was the active agency in the nomination of 
Hancock Jackson and Mosby Monroe Parsons. When after 
their election, Jackson and Reynolds demonstrated their 
loyalty to the South, the Bulletin became their champion. 
In February of 1861 Moritz Niedner acquired its owner- 
ship, changed its name to the State JournaP and placed 
J. W. Tucker, a South Carolinian, in editorial control. In 
the brightest and best periods of journalism in Missouri — 
Chambers and Paschall on the Republican and Gratz Brown 



'Fight for Missouri, by Thomas L. Snead. 
"See Appendix D. 

(2) 



18 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

on the Democrat — nothing ever equaled the strength and 
literary style of its editorials, which nearly monopolized 
its pages every morning. It appealed to the extreme 
Southern sentiment in Missouri. Its purpose was to drive 
out the reason of one element by the display of an ever- 
changing panorama of wrongs and tyranny, and of the other 
by the vitrol of invective to their deeuticled persons. 
Some of its strongest editorials were poems — ^gems of 
thought and masterpieces of diction. I remember one. Its 
inspiration was the reputed utterance of Mr. Lincoln that 
"It might be necessary to put the foot down firmly" and 
it was a fearful and pathetic denunciation of tyranny and 
inhumanity. 

In the new alignment of parties there were Secessionists, 
Conditional Union men, the largest division, and the Un- 
conditional Union men, the smallest division. The last had 
cast its vote for Lincoln under the name of Republicans. 
As it numbered barely more than a tenth of the voters in 
the State and was composed mainly of Germans in St. Louis, 
many of them ignorant of our laws and theory of govern- 
ment, and accustomed to autocratic rule, it was deemed 
politic to discard for the time the old name for the new. 
The scheme of the leaders was to use the mailed hand of 
war to build up party power, by exerting sufficient force, 
from within and' without the State, to overawe the Condi- 
tional Union men and by stimulating excesses to more surely 
break old party affiliations. Frank Blair cared little for 
party names. With him principle was everything. He was 
for the Union and was opposed to slavery — ^in Missouri — for 
economic reasons. He was willing to cooperate with the 
extremists because the success of the Union cause in Miff- 
souri demanded vigorous and relentless war, but he was not 
willing for it to be made the asset of any political party. 
"Give us a country first," he said, "we can see about the 
party afterward." His word was law until the forces he 



THE PRECEDING YEARS 19 

had created were strong enough to sweep him aside. Per- 
haps it is true to say that no man was more responsible for 
the reign of madness in Missouri than Frank Blair. Certain 
It is that when the armies disbanded he, ahnost alone, broke 
its domination at great sacrifice and at great personal risk. 

Fateful events followed quickly. _ Frank Blair and Cap- 
tain Lyon were drilling the German political campaign Wide- 
Awakes into Home Guards. Lyon was a native of Con- 
necticut, had gone from West Point into the army twenty 
years before the war and had served with credit in the 
Florida and Mexican wars. Politically he was an earnest 
Democrat until near the middle fifties, when he became 
saturated with anti-slavery fanaticism and from that time 
his hatred of Southern people was unboimded. In energy, 
grasp of the situation and bravery he was the equal of Blair. 
Blair respected law; Lyon respected the law that served 
his purpose. From the day he reached St. Louis with his 
company of regulars — about the first of February — ^until 
the clash of war came there was not an hour of calm in the 
city or State. 

Among the Irish of St. Louis there was a large proportion 
of educated, intelligent, enthusiastic young men — the best 
blood of that isle of romance and poetry — ^whose hatred of 
the Home Guards was intensified by the antipathy of race 
and religion. These filled the ranks of the Minute Men 
under the leadership of Diike, Greene, Quinlan, Champion 
and McCoy. The rising sun on the day of Lincoln's in- 
auguration revealed a rebel flag flying over the headquarters 
of the Minute Men. Angry crowds threatened, but there 
were men beneath it who hoped that blood would be spilled 
in the attempt to lower it. Had there been, the intention 
was to seize the arsenal, into which would have poured 
Frost's brigade, nearly every Irishman in the city and hun- 
dreds of other enthusiastic young men. The disappoint- 
ment on one side and the derision heaped upon the other. 



20 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

in consequence of this incident, added much to the bitter- 
ness of the factions. 

The effort of Lyon — earnestly and ably seconded by 
Blair — was the assumption of military power in Missouri 
by the displacement of General Harney. Conciliation was 
Harney's policy. Lyon hated conciliation. The Union as 
it had existed was not the Union he wished preserved and 
perpetuated. The coveted power was gained and its exercise 
was able, energetic and tyrannical. 

On the 17th of April Governor Jackson responded de- 
fiantly to the demand of four regiments of infantry under 
the first call for troops by President Lincoln. "Not one 
man will the State of Missouri furnish to carry on such an 
unholy crusade." On the 10th of May Camp Jackson — the 
point of a week's instruction for the militia ordered under 
the law — was captured and the slaughter of prisoners and 
citizens was Missouri's baptism of blood in civil war. 

On the 11th of June there was an interview, at the 
Planters' House in St. Louis, between General Lyon and 
Blair and Governor Jackson and General Price. The inter- 
^^ew had been arranged and Governor Jackson courteously 
informed General Lyon of his presence at the hotel and 
invited him to the proposed meeting. Lyon replied that 
the meeting would take place at the arsenal; Jackson 
answered that if there were a meeting it would be held at 
the Planters'. The proposition submitted by the governor 
was: "That I would disband the State Guard and break 
up its organization; that I would disarm all the companies 
■which had been armed by the State; that I would pledge 
myself not to attempt to organize the militia under the 
Military Bill; that no arms or other munitions of war should 
be brought into the State; that I would protect all citizens 
equally in all their rights, regardless of their political 
opinions; that I would suppress all insurrectionary move- 
ments within the State; that I would repel all attempts to 



THE PRECEDING YEARS 21 

invade it from whatever quarter and by whomsoever made; 
and that I would thus maintain a strict neutrality in the 
present unhappy contest, and preserve the peace of the 
State. And I further proposed that I would, if necessary, 
invoke the assistance of the United States troops to carry 
out these pledges. All this I proposed to do upon condition 
that the Federal Government would undertake to disarm 
the Home Guards, which it has illegally organized and armed 
throughout the State, and pledge itself not to occupy with 
its troops any locality not occupied by them at this time." 
In his proclamation the next day Governor Jackson stated 
that nothing but the most earnest desire to avert the hor- 
rors of civil war in the State could have tempted him to 
propose these humiliating terms. The interview lasted sev- 
eral hours and was terminated by Lyon — ^who had nearly 
monopolized the discussion — with the declaration : "Rather 
than concede to the State of Missouri for one single instant 
the right to dictate to my Government in any matter how- 
ever unimportant, I would see you, and you, and you, and 
you, and you, and every man, woman and child in the State, 
dead and buried. This means war." He strode out of the 
room "rattling his spurs and clanking his sabre." 

Referring to this interview, the capture of Camp Jackson 
and other notable events of that day, Professor Samuel B. 
Harding, University of Indiana, in his "Missouri Party 
Struggles in the Civil War Period," says, page 95, that 
while their effect upon opinion was no doubt great, politically 
they were a mistake. "At all events the policy of 
'Thorough,' anticipating attacks and over-riding nice dis- 
tinctions of law and constitutionality, had for its effects 
the conversion to secession of men like Sterling Price — the 
president of the convention, and one of the best and most 
popular men in Missouri — and the complete surrender of 
the legislature to Governor Jackson's designs." 

Governor Jackson and his party reached Jefferson City 



32 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

at two o'clock in the morning of June 12, and by daybreak 
his proclamation calling into active service the Militia of 
the State to the number of fifty thousand to repel invasion 
and to protect the lives, liberties and property of the 
citizens, was passing through the press. War had begun. 

Amid all the preparation for the conflict the rabid press 
began the cry for blood. All over the State cruelties and 
outrages upon Union people were manufactured and for- 
warded regularly. The publication of these letters pro- 
duced the same effect upon the sentiment in Missouri as the 
imaginary experiences of the mythical hordes of refugees 
from rebel fiends in the South did upon that of a more 
extended area, and were the beginnings of a method of 
feeding popular frenzy which ended with the exploits of 
"visiting Statesmen" of a later date. 

The ignorant, who knew not that Washington was a rebel 
and that through rebellion this country gained its autonomy, 
were taught to believe that rebellion was the most odious 
and inexcusable of crimes and that every man who did not 
openly endorse inhuman methods of warfare was a rebel 
whose life and property were of right forfeited. But there 
were thousands of Missourians, the elite of the State, the 
pillars of its social fabric, who knew what rebellion meant, 
who knew that the blood of rebels coursed through their 
veins and who, loving the Union and desiring peace, stood 
ready, if peaceful measures failed, to declare themselves 
rebels as their forefathers had done, and to meet as their 
ancestors had met, the issue of that declaration with the 
last dollar, the last drop of blood. "Kebellion !" said Judah 
P. Benjamin, in taking leave of the United States Senate 
when Louisiana seceded, "the very word is a confession; an 
avowal of tyranny, outrage and oppression. It is taken 
from the despot's code, and has no terror for other than 
slavish souls. When, sir, did millions of people, as a single 
man, rise in organized, deliberate, unimpassioned rebellion 



THE PRECEDING YEARS 23 

against justice, truth and honor? Traitors! Treason! ay, 
sir, the people of the South imitate the glory in such treason 
as glowed in the soul of Hampden; just such treason as 
leaped in living flame from the impassioned lips of Henry; 
just such treason as encircles with a sacred halo the undying 
name of Washington."^ 

This foreword is not intended as a treatment of the situa- 
tion in Missouri during the period under consideration. No 
single event is mentioned that did not tend to substitute 
passion for reason. For foui* years and more there was a 
maelstrom of resentment and hate ia the heart of every 
Missourian. This had been growing for ten years and there 
was nothing like it, before or since, in this country. Only 
among the mountaineers of East Tennessee was there a weak 
imitation of its intensity. A knowledge of the extent of 
this sentiment and its horrid ferocity is necessary for an 
appreciation of the difficulties encountered by Colonel 
Porter and of the endurance, courage and skill that enabled 
him to harass, for more than half a year in Northeast Mis- 
souri, a vigilant and active foe, twenty times superior ia 
numbers and a hundred times superior in equipment and to 
draw from that territory five thousand Confederate soldiers 
whose record left no stain on the proud name of their State. 



^Memoirs of a Senate Page, by Clirlatlan F. Bcfcloff. 



CHAPTER II 
JOINS MISSOURI STATE GUARD 

Had there been a spark of selfisliness in the character of 
Joseph Chrisman Porter, he would have turned a deaf ear 
to the call to arms, ^o man had more interest in the 
preservation of peace. No man's future seemed brighter. 
On the dial of his life the hand stood at the two score mark. 
Vigor quickened every impulse of brain and muscle. He 
was a tiller of the soil and it had responded generously to 
his iudustry. A beautiful home grew up and it was filled 
with the romping tumult of nine bright and happy children. 
A cultured and loyal woman was queen there. The flowers, 
the waving com, the trees, the birds, spoke of peace, of 
nature, of God; and everywhere were contentment and hap- 
piness. Troops of friends surrounded him, among them 
his aged father, who had carefully taught him the precepts 
of duty. But the demon of war came. 

The History of Lewis County rendered scant justice to 
the Confederates who operated in Northeast Missouri, but 
it could only speak in praise of Colonel Porter's military 
efficiency: "On the morning of the 5th of July, Judge 
Martin E. Green set out on horseback from his farm for 
Canton, carrying on his arm a basket of cherries for a friend 
in town. A mile or so from the place he was informed of 
the presence of Federal troops under Palmer and, turning 
about, he rode straight for the secession camp at Horse 
Shoe Bend. A few days after his arrival he was elected 
colonel of the battalion or regiment. Captain Joe C. Por- 
ter was chosen lieutenant-colonel; both officers were not 
regularly commissioned until later. No better selections 



JOINS MISSOURI STATE GUARD 25 

for commanding could have been made than those of 
Colonels Green and Porter. Although both were farmers 
and without actual military experience, neither having ever 
set a squadron in the field, yet they seemed from the first 
at home in their new vocation. The occasion brought them 
forth. These quiet farmers developed into military leaders, 
with real genius and strong ability and, had not both fallen 
by Federal bullets, would have come out of the war with 
the stars of major-generals. Grreen became a brigadier, 
renowned for his strong good sense, deliberation and stead- 
fastness of purpose, as well as for his calm bravery and 
other manly qualities. The war brought to notice no braver, 
better soldier than Joe Porter. With an indomitable will 
and courage, he combined energy, sagacity and dash, the 
elements which make the true and successful soldier to an 
uncommon degree."^ 

Colonel Porter participated in all the battles and move- 
ments of the regiment in Northeast Missouri and lirorthi- 
western Arkansas. General Thomas A. Harris, command- 
ing the Second Division of the Missouri State Guard, in 
his report to General Price, referring to the field fortifica- 
tion at Ijexington, says: "None contributed more to the 
zealous and efficient prosecution of the work than Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Porter of Colonel Green's regiment, who, 
although severely wounded in the head by a ball, continued 
to afford the most untiring example to the men by his zeal 
and self-sacrificing services." And of his division in the 
siege and capture he mentions for gallant and distinguished 
services Colonel Green, Lieutenant-Colonels Brace,* Hull 
and Porter. Hull, of Lincoln County, like Porter, had been 
wounded in the head. 

After the bloody battle of Elkhom Tavern, or Pea Ridge 



'See Appendix E. 

"Of Monroe County, and afterwards one of the supreme judges of the 
State. 



26 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

as it is commonly called, where he successfully conducted 
an important movement under orders from General Green, 
Colonel Porter was selected by General Price, with a num- 
ber of other brave and skillful officers, for the work of re- 
cruiting men in North Missouri. It was not to his liking, 
but a thought of self never entered his mind and he never 
hesitated in obeying an order. He reached his home in 
the early part of April and, after a few days, spent with his 
family, began preparations for the work entrusted to him. 
With the exception of his large circle of relatives his 
neighbors were Union men of a very pronouiiced type and 
the territory of his proposed operations was garrisoned with 
Federal troops. Secrecy, judgment, continued activity and 
skill were necessary to success, and Colonel Porter made the 
completest use of these instruments. His presence first be- 
came known outside of his friends and adherents on the 
17 th of Jime, when with forty-three men in the Western 
part of Marion County, he captured a detachment of Colonel 
Lipscomb's regiment of State militia taking the equipments 
and paroling the men not to re-enter the service until ex- 
changed. From then until his death wound there was no 
more rest. 




MRS. O. M. WHITE 

The daughter of Colonel Porter, who bears a striking resemblance 
to her father 



CHAPTER III 
CAPTAIN PENNY'S COMPANY 

As previously stated, the proclamation of ' Governor 
Jackson calling out the Missouri State Guard for six 
months' service to repel Federal invasion, was issued Wed'- 
nesday, June 12, 1861. I was in St. Louis at the time and 
well remember the great excitement it caused. I reached 
home early in the afternoon of Saturday and found 
Lieutenant John Q. Burbridge, of the Louisiana military 
company, and afterwards commanding a brigade in the Con- 
federate army, drilling a squad. He had come to Millwood 
for volunteers and I immediately enlisted and left next 
morning for the seat of active operations.'^ At the expira- 
tion of the service I did not enlist, as many did, in the Con- 
federate army, but preferred, for physical reasons, to enjoy 
a respite of a month or so at home. 

Lincoln County, for the first year of the war, was toler- 
ably quiet. There were Union and Confederate meetings, 
great political enthusiasm and fierce discussions, but there 
was a spirit of tolerance which gave what it demanded — 
the right to hold and to express political opinions. The 
militia officers were my friends and the friends of my rela- 
tives who were, without exception, intensely Southern in 
sentiment. However, before the spring of 1862 had well 
set in, the signs of the times seemed to indicate that the 
safest place for me was in the Confederate army. The 
revelation was not altogether unpleasant, and I resolved to 
take the first opportunity to travel the path that led to 
duty. It was much longer in coming than I expected. 

'See Appendix F. 



28 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

I made many wild-goose chases into western Pike and 
Kails and eastern Montgomery and Audrain following re- 
ports that here or there might be found the nucleus of a 
company that could escape to the Confederate lines. 
Every man to whom I had been directed had the same 
answer: "There is nothing of the kind in this neighbor- 
hood. Your informant must have referred to some other 
man of my name." One afternoon, about the middle of 
June, sitting with Jim Reeds in front of the store of Joseph 
S. Wells in Nineveh, now Olney, I told of my unsuccessful 
efforts. Reeds was a prosperous farmer who lived one and 
a half miles northeast of that village. 

"You might have been," he said, "on the right track. 
You might have been talking to the neighborhood guide 
whose duty it was to show you the camp. The trouble was 
you were unknown and you didn't have the credentials." 

"What kind of credentials are required?" 

"The current password, the sign of recognition and such 
other signs as may be called for." 

"Where can these signs and the password be had?" 

"I can give them to you. I am the guide for this end 
of Lincoln County." 

"Let me have them." 

He imparted them with minuteness and care, but I have 
long forgotten them. At the end of the lesson he said : 

"I have given you the secret work because I know it to 
be safe to do so, and it may be useful to you hereafter. 
You can at this time get into a camp without it. There is 
a recruiting camp within two miles of where we are sitting. 
If you come up Wednesday morning I can take you to it" 

"Wednesday — day after tomorrow — ^will be the 18th, just 
a year and three days after I enlisted in the Missouri State 
Guard. I shall be on time." 

The camp was about one and a half miles west of Nineveh 
in a pretty forest belonging to General John South, a fine 



CAPTAIN PENNY'S COMPANY 29 

old gentleman past three score, whose name was a true in- 
dex to his political sentiment. When we reached the 
sentry I was struck with his youthful appearance. I after- 
wards learned his name was Joseph N. Haley and his age 
sixteen. I should have guessed it two or three years less. 
He was a quiet, modest boy, always obliging, always in a 
good humor, and careful in the performance of every duty. 
Captain Sylvester B. Penny — Wes Penny as he was com- 
monly called — ^whose acquaintance I had made on the 
march to Price's army a year before, was in command. I 
had scarcely spoken to him before up came Green Berry 
Rector, who, extending his hand, said: 

"Aloysius, you didn't expect to find me here." 
"I did not, Green. In fact, you are the last person I 
expected to see in this company. How did you happen to 
be here ?" 

"Oh, I have been thinking about it a long time." 
"Why did you not tell me of your intention?" 
"My mind was only made up right lately about the war 
and what I ought to do and I preferred to work out the 
whole thing myself without any persuasion or influence, and 
if I have made a mistake nobody can be blamed but me." 
Green was bom in the house in which his great grand- 
father, Noah Rector, a soldier of the Revolution, died eight 
years later at the age of one hundred and two. It stands a 
mile west of south of where I was born — ^he the older by 
one year. We had never attended the same school and had 
never been playmates. His associates were few. Except 
his blind old ancestor and his mother he had never known 
a near relative. His world had been very small, but his 
modest, cheerful demeanor gave no sign of yearnings for 
a larger. His morals were above reproach. He was in- 
telligent and his education was better than his sphere and 
his opportunities. He had a rich vein of quiet humor and 
a quick appreciation of the grotesque. He had never talked 



30 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

of the war and I never knew how he regarded it. Two of 
his distant relatives of the same name were in the Federal 
militia and all the others were of pronounced Union senti>- 
ment. I assured him of my gratification in seeing him 
a Confederate soldier and said I knew we should be good 
friends. 

There were Mose Beck, of near Truxton, and Davis 
Whiteside, of above Auburn, whom I knew; Sam Minor, 
of near Prairieville ; Bob South, of Price's Branch, nephew 
of General South and a connection of Captain Penny, and 
Ben Vansel, of Middletown, whom I did not know. 

I remained about an hour and made arrangements for 
joining the Company the following Tuesday, June 24, when 
the camp would be, as Captain Penny informed me, nearly 
two miles farther west. Three or four days were spent at 
the latter camp; a few scouting expeditions at night, and 
several interviews with Jim Reeds and Jim Ricks, both very 
active local agents, the latter especially enthusiastic, filling 
in the time. I was surprised one afternoon to see Frank 
McAtee, of near Madisonville, Ralls Coimty, ride into camp. 
His parents, like mine, were natives of Maryland, and had, 
some years before, with their two daughters and three sons 
lived a mile east of my father's. I kept up my acquaintance 
with them in Ralls County and knew them to be enthusi- 
astic in the cause of the South. It took Frank a day and 
a half to reach our camp. At Madisonville he ran into a 
detachment of militia commanded by his former music 
teacher, Lieutenant Jeff Mayhall, of New London. Frank 
was a sleek talker and he easily convinced his inquisitors 
that he was on the way to visit relatives in Pike County. 
Thomas M. Robey, who had grown up to a little past the 
middle of his teens in my neighborhood, came into camp the 
next morning and that night we left for a camp about six 
miles east of Middletown, and not far from the present vil- 
lage of Marling. 



CAPTAIN PENNY'S COMPANY 31 

Sunrise revealed the fact that the camp was most pleas- 
antly located. Presently the captain suggested a short 
walk. Out of hearing of the camp he said : 

"I am going home and shall be gone four or five days. 
A few recruits I think I can get and some other matters will 
take that long and I wish to bid my parents and sisters fare- 
well, because I'm in for the war. Matters will be safe here 
for a week and maybe for a much longer time. I don't 
think I'll get away with enough men to justify two commis- 
sioned officers; so I want you to be first sergeant and I'd 
better appoint you now, so that you can have charge while 
I am absent." 

"Captain, I propose to work in harness, but I'd much 
rather not be an officer of any kind. The idea of command- 
ing men older than myself is exceedingly distasteful to me. 
Appoint Mose Beck; he is the oldest man in the company. 
At least, he and Vansel are the oldest men. Ben and I 
have struck up quite a liking for each other, but I think 
Mose better suited for the position. He is a man of good 
judgment, of undoubted bravery and, yourself excepted, 
I'd rather follow his lead in battle or in the march than that 
of any man likely to be in the company." 

"If I appoint him will you agree to do the clerical work 
and all the duties except commanding ?" 

"Most willingly." 

"That will be the arrangement, then." 

Ben Vansel left for his home a few miles away shortly 
after the captain, to remain as long as the camp was here, 
bu't he returned for an hour or so each day. The good 
people of the neighborhood kept us plentifully supplied 
with everything good to eat, and further to show their 
good will, gave a dancing party at Mrs. Show's^ in our 
honor. It was a very pleasant affair. Of all the ladies 



'This name rhymes with how, not with hoe. 



32 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

present I only remember one and she a very pretty one — 
Miss Lulu Whiteside, now of Denison, Texas, the wife of 
J. W. Fike, a gallant Confederate soldier — her uncle, John 
Bowles, I met shortly afterwards as a lieutenant under 
Porter. Among the young men invited to meet us were 
Tom Moore and Henry and Jim Lovelace, who informed 
us that they were going to join our company. The two 
brothers I had never heard of, nor had I ever seen Tom 
Moore, but his father's brother, a rich farmer of my neigh- 
borhood, deceased ten years, had married a relative of mine. 
All three proved to be the very best material. 

Mrs. Show's oldest son, Morgan, was much in evidence 
at the dance. I was glad to hear him say, in reply to a 
question from Vansel, that he would not join our company. 
He was a member of my company in the six months' service 
a year before. He was a brave soldier, bjit a bad man; 
quarrelsome and utterly reckless — the black sheep of the 
family. Some fifteen years after the war he killed his 
brother, Parren, in a family quarrel and while on bail Wfis 
killed by another brother — Marshall Show, who is now a 
preacher in Virginia. 

When Captain Penny returned he brought with him 
Arthur W. Clayton, Andrew Nolan and four or five others. 
Not one of the six survivors remembers how many of these 
men there were, their names or anything about them. Nor 
does anyone remember Clayton or Nolan being in our 
company except Sam Minor who sends their names along 
with Morgan Show. I know that Sam is mistaken as to 
Show. 

The guide for this locality was Chapell Gregory, who 
lived just over the line in Pike County and about two and 
one-half miles southwest of Louisville in Lincoln County, 
the father of J. S. R. Gregory, a prominent farmer of Lin- 
coln County, living three miles northeast of Louisville and 
known over the three counties as "Doc" Gregory. Mr. 




FIVE OF THE SIX SURVIVORS OF CAPTAIN PENNY'S COMPANY 



CAPTAIN PENNY'S COMPANY 33 

Gregory was seventy or more years of age, but active 
and vigorous. He was almost as well known as his son, 
was, like Mm, an intelligent, educated man of scrupulous 
honesty and of intense political convictions. Between eight 
o'clock in the evening and three in the morning we made 
thirty or thirty-five miles and camped until next night near 
Madisonville, and about three miles from the home of Samuel 
McAtee. Frank, who had left his bed in the early hours of 
the morning a few days before and sneaked away on his 
father's best horse, claimed t-> be too tired to leave camp. I 
rode over to Mr. McAtee's, chatted an hour with his two 
charming daughters. Miss Lizzie, now deceased, and Miss 
Rose, now Mrs. Thiehoff, of Hunnewell, Shelby County, a 
widow with seven sons, three daughters and two sons-in-law, 
all strong in the inherited political faith. On my departure 
Mr. McAtee accompanied me to the front gate. In a serious 
tone he said the loss of his best horse was an embarrass- 
ment and that if misfortune came to Frank, to whom he 
looked to take his place, in all probability before many years, 
the blow would be terrible. "But," he added brightly and 
almost triumphantly, "looking at it right, it's only my share, 
and I give it freely. Tell Frank his father expects him to 
act the man." 

The next guide took us to about six miles west of 
Palmyra and at sunrise we went into camp in the edge of 
a pretty forest. At nine o'clock', after a refreshing sleep. 
Captain Penny directed Ben Vansel and me to go to the 
nearest house and get breakfast for the men; the guide 
had told him, he said, that the man's name was Young 
and that he was all right. The distance was only one-fourth 
of a mile, but we mounted our horses, as much for safety 
as for convenience. The house stood on open, level ground 
and for two miles or more the view was unobstructed. 'The 
road past the front gate was wide and showed sign of much 
travel. Hitching on either side of the gate we entered the 

(3) 



34 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

house and Mr. Young soon made his appearance. He ap- 
peared about sixty years old — strong physically and men- 
tally. 

"Mr. Young?" 

"Yes." 

"Are you related to John Young who visited the vicinity 
of Millwood during the winter?" 

"He is my son." 

"Where is he now?" 

"He's not at home." 

"Mr. Young, there are twenty-two of us in the woods a 
short distance from here on our way to the Confederate 
army. I am directed by our Captain to ask you for a break- 
fast to take to the camp." 

"You can't get anything here. I have almost been eaten 
out of house and home by the Federal militia, and if it were 
known that I fed bushwhackers they wouldn't leave me a 
horse, a hog or a chicken." 

"I enlisted in the army a year ago, and I have learned to 
obey orders no matter how disagreeable they are to me. 
I am ordered to get a breakfast for twenty-two men." 

"I am not responsible for your orders. I have to be 
responsible for what I do. Your horses are hitched in the 
main road that leads to Palmyra. The Federal militia pass 
here every day. If I were to furnish the breakfast it would 
take an hour or more to cook it. The Federals will very 
likely be along while you are here, and if they do there will 
be trouble for me. My sentiments are known to them and 
I have been accused more than once of harboring bush- 
whackers." 

"Such an accident would give us more trouble than it 
would give you, but we've got to risk it. We haven't had 
anything to eat since yesterday morning; and without that 
reason we'd have to take the risk. It's orders. I don't 
wish to prolong this interview, Mr. Young. You are an 



CAPTAIN PENNY'S COMPANY 35 

old man; I am a boy. Don't make me say to you what I 
have never said to my superior in age, and what I hope I 
shall never say." 

"I have no control of your language." 

"Mr. Young, I have told you in respectful language what 
we came here for. l^ow you force me to tell you that you 
will have to furnish what we ask, and for your sake and for 
our sake, please let there be no uimecessary delay about it." 

"You have the power to enforce your demands and there 
is nothing for me to do but to submit." 

At this Mrs. Young and her two daughters, who had been 
interested listeners, left the room and presently Mr. Young 
began a pleasant run of conversation. We suspected all 
along the sly old fellow had been fishing for some evidence 
of coercion. After much less delay than we expected the 
announcement came that the breakfast was ready. We 
found two large baskets filled almost to the handles — ample 
breakfast for fifty hungry men. Mrs. Young admonished 
us to return the baskets as some other hungry boys might 
come along. Miss Young said they had taken the liberty to 
put in some delicacies which they hoped the boys would 
enjoy. The ladies insisted on helping us with the baskets. 
In doing this the younger one whispered to me : 

"Don't mind papa; come back twice a day as long as you 
stay here." 

When we had passed out of hearing I asked Ben if he 
had received a parting message. 

"Yes, Miss Young told me she hoped this breakfast would 
nerve us to kill troops of Yankees." 

I remember the details of this incident clearly, but what I 
remember best about it is the number of men I gave as want- 
ing breakfast. My memory is not clear as to whether the 
twenty-two included one or two guides. It is possible that 
the guide of the preceding night had gone out and returned 
with the guide of the coming night. If one guide, the 



36 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

membership of our company, including one recruit received 
after joining Porter, was twenty-two; if two guides, 
twenty-one. 

We broke camp at nine o'clock in the evening and with 
a guide who knew every inch of the way, every path, every 
tree, made an easy nm of twenty-five miles to the camp of 
Colonel Joseph C. Porter on the North Fabius, not many 
miles from Monticello, the county town of Lewis Coimty. 
The guide had so arranged that breakfast found us in heavy 
timber and that the camp was reached an hour after sunrise. 
It was Wednesday, July 9. The contents of Mr. Yoimg's 
baskets sufficed for two meals and a generous luncheon, 
which we now consumed. While the boys were spreading 
blankets for a much needed sleep. Captain Penny, with me 
accompanying, reported to the colonel. Colonel Porter was 
about five feet, ten inches high and rather slender. His 
eyes were blue-gray; countenance most agreeable and voice 
low and musical. He received us courteously and pleasantly. 
His conversation never drifted away from the common- 
place. I scanned every feature, every tone, look and play 
of muscle. If our company should remain with him any 
great while I should like to know his capacity as a leader. 
Th? effort was nearly fruitless. There was repose that 
might indicate reserve power and there was an occasional 
gleam of the eye as if to read one's very thought. I re- 
membered reading of a rich woman with an idolatrous love 
for pearls, but whose short wearing rendered them dull and 
lusterless. Then they would be passed to another woman 
whose wearing wouJd restore their natural health and vigor. 
Was this a man whose association would dull or brighten 
the human pearl? Something told me that he would 
brighten it and bring out all its energy and endurance. But 
we should see. Captain Penny explained that he vdshed 
to act with the regiment for a while and if in a reasonable 
time it could join the army in Arkansas, which was much 



CAPTAIN PENNY'S COMPANY 37 

desired by our men, we would with what recruits we could 
gather constitute one of its companies. In the meantime 
he would ask for his squad what consideration the colonel 
could give it, on the field or on the scout, and he felt that 
he could personally guarantee the confidence would not be 
misplaced. I could see that Colonel Porter was impressed 
with the Captain's earnest, modest demeanor. We then 
terminated the interview, which had lasted about twenty 
minutes, and returned to our fellows. 



CHAPTEK IV 
THE PLAN OUTLINED 

Shortly before noon the next day Captain Penny told me 
that Colonel Porter wished us to take a ride with him. 

"Wha;;'s up?" 

"I don't know." 

Knowing that Captain Penny, while a very prudent man, 
was always ready for anything necessary to be done, no 
matter how desperate, I debated while saddling up whether 
his reply referred to the whole subject or only to the details. 
It was a beautiful day — one of warm sunshine, of invigorat- 
ing air gently fanned by the wind, of sweet scented leaves 
dancing on the boughs of giant hickory, elm and walnut 
trees — never a greater inspiration for the daring reconnois- 
sance, the rollicking gallop over a picket or the wild dash 
in the face of superior nmnbers. My imagination reveled 
on these scenes and I wondered if they were as funny as 
the actors loved to paint them. 

"Colonel, shall I get my gun ?" when we reached the spot 
where he was awaiting us. 

"No, only our side arms and we'll not be likely to need 
them. There are no Federals nearer than Palmyra and 
unless the situation changes from what it was an hour ago 
we shall not be disturbed. A good friend of mine, two 
miles down the road, insists on my dining with him today." 

Our gait was a slow walk. I paid but little attention to 
the froth of conversation which preceded the taking up of a 
serious subject. The words of the Colonel as we rode past 
the camp sentinel completely filled my thoughts. How 
could he know the situation in Palmyra an hour ago? — or 



TEE PLAN OUTLINED 39 

three hours ago, if "an hour ago" was a convenience of 
expression? What could be accomplished with one line of 
communication? and how was it possible to establish and 
maintain a sufficient number to be worth the while ? When 
we reached the road where three could comfortably ride 
abreast Colonel Porter began to tell of his plans. 

"I want every one of my men to know what is expected 
of him. Mudd, when I asked you yesterday if you had seen 
service you told me you were on Bloody Hill at Wilson's 
Creek. Then you know what Missourians wiU do, and I am 
sure you, Captain, know equally as well. There are thou- 
sands and thousands of men in North Missouri whose an- 
cestors fought at Long Island, at Saratoga and King's Moun- 
tain; the sons and the grandsons of the men who fought 
with Jackson at N^ew Orleans, with Gentry in the Ever- 
glades; the men and the sons of the men who marched 
and fought with Doniphan and Price in New and Old 
Mexico. They are the material for the making of the 
finest soldiers in the world. What the Missourians did at 
Bloody Hill they will do, whenever necessary, anywhere. 
The great majority of these are ready, when the opportunity 
comes, to join the Confederate army. I want every one of 
them, and if I am spared T am going to get every one of 
them. The magnitude of this work is appalling. I did not 
ask for this detail, nor did I say aught against it because — 
and I think I can say it without undue egotism — ^I felt that 
I could accomplish its purpose as well as any that were 
named and better than some. In truth, though, this de- 
tail was very distasteful to me. The intense vigilance and 
the fearful hardship of the life I do not mind, but there are 
two reasons why this business is extremely distasteful to 
me. As you know the cry of every Union newspaper in 
the State is for blood, and their readers join in it. Eebels 
and guerrillas are the mildest terms they apply to us; they 
call us assassins, cut-throats, incendiaries, robbers, horse- 



40 WITH PORTER IN 'NORTH MISSOURI 

thieves and everything that is vile and despicable. They 
call upon the Federal troops and the militia to shoot us down 
on capture. It is reported that my namesake, Judge Gil- 
christ Porter, has given instructions to grand juries in his 
circuit to indict every Confederate soldier virho impresses 
a horse in the day time as a highway robber and if the im- 
pressment is done at night the indictment must be that of a 
horse-thief.^ Now, no soldier knows what the fortune of 
war has in store for him. If I am captured and shot like a 
dog, in the minds of my Union neighbors — ^mostof my neigh- 
bors are Union men — and of the Union people in the State 
my name will be regarded as that of a criminal. It will take 
years, possibly, to remove that impression and those years will 
be years of suffering and reproach for my family. Another 
reason is that I should hate to die in a little skirmish. I 
hope to live through this war. I have much to live for 
and life is sweet to me. If I have to lay down my life I 
wish to do it in a great battle. It is a soldier's duty to 
obey orders, and I have never questioned one. 

"When I came from the army last April I went to an 
old man in Knox County whom I had known well for many 
years. He is a stay-at-home man, keeps his opinions to 
himself, but I knew him to be intensely devoted to the 
cause of the South. Moreover he is a man of the strictest 
integrity and I can rely upon him in anything he engages 
to do. I told what I expected to accomplish and what co- 
operation I must have to achieve success. When he prof- 
fered his assistance I explained the danger of the posi- 
tion I wished him to take and was much impressed with 
his answer. He said he considered it a sin, bordering on 
suicide, for a man to go into danger unless it was necessary; 
if it was necessary no man, understanding his duty to God 
and his country, could refuse to go into danger v^ithout sin. 



'See Appendix G. 



THE PLAtf OUTLINED 41 

His own work lie said would be measured only by his ability. 
He is one of the best of my men. As mapped out between 
us he was to acquaint himself fully with the roads, paths, 
streams, woods, fields, and prairies, especially their appear- 
ance at night, of as much of his immediate neighborhood 
and beyond as he could cover; select, with my assistance or 
suggestion, other men to do likewise with adjoining terri- 
tories, preference being given to elderly men as less liable to 
suspicion. These men are known to me and to each other 
as guides. Then there are couriers whose duty it is to bring 
information. There are more of these, as wherever prac- 
ticable they live not over five miles apart, so that the relays 
are short enough to allow rapid riding and in the event of 
meeting Federals or the militia to avert suspicion by being 
not very far from home. Some of the guides and some of 
the couriers are called organizers, but they are what might 
be termed recruiting agents. Each man's duties and his 
location are known to all the others. They have signs and 
passwords which are changed at stated periods." 

"Mudd," said Captain Penny, "you remember Jim Reeds 
gave you the sign and password before he brought you into 
our camp?" 

"Yes." 

"In this way," Colonel Porter resumed, "I have some- 
thing more than the eastern half of North Missouri, except- 
ing St. Charles County and nearly all of Lincoln and War- 
ren Counties, covered by trustworthy and efficient agents. 
I can travel from Clark to Chariton or from Putnam to 
Lincoln or Pike, by easy stages or by a furious march of 
day and night, and never be without a guide who knows 
every foot of the way, even when it is too dark to see your 
hand before you. If I have a bout with the Federals on 
the Iowa line, in three or four days our people on the Mis- 
souri river would have a correct account of it. This is 
necessary because the papers describe every battle as a Fed- 



42 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

eral victory and their accounts of my movements are calcu- 
lated to discourage our enlistments. 

"In every locality I can learn where needed supplies may 
be had. In a certain com crib, so many feet from the door, 
is a quantity of lead, powder and percussion caps brought 
out from Hannibal in the bottom of a capacious pair of 
saddle-bags topped over by a number of small packages, 
such as tea, rice, candy, spool thread, and the like, by some 
decrepid old farmer whose honest face was proof against 
suspicion of deceit. Almost invariably there would be a 
quart bottle of the best whisky half hidden benealii the 
other goods and, when it was discovered by the Federal 
picket, the sly old fellow would say, 'I'm sorry you found 
that, but since you have, take a pull. Touch it lightly, it's 
got to last me until I go back to town and I don't know 
when that will be,' all the while hoping they will drink 
enough to become intoxicated. In the bottom of the feed 
trough of a certain stall, apparently used but really unused, 
in a certain stable is another lot of ammunition, and so on. 
At every point, if I need one horse or a dozen, I can get 
the best virithou't the loss of an hour's time. You see we 
have the best horses in the State — far superior to those 
of the Federal cavalry. Whenever practicable I get horses 
and all other supplies from Southern men." 

"Well, whenever possible, I'd get them from Union men," 
said Captain Penny. "I believe in treating them as their 
militia treats our people. Of course I except their house 
burnings and murders of defenseless citizens; but when it 
comes to property I'm in favor of meting out to them the 
same measure they mete out to us. A great many Union 
men are Union men only because the property of Union 
men is safer in this State than the property of Southern 
men. I consider it a base sentiment to put property before 
principle." 



THE PLAN OUTLINED 43 

"Captain, it's not safe, it's not just, to judge the motives 
of any man." 

"I know that. No man, I think, is less apt to judge any- 
one individual than I. To judge men in the abstract is 
different. Even so, what am I to think of a man who 
tells me that were it not for his property in slaves he 
wouldn't be a Union man ? Again there are prominent men 
in my county — and in nearly every county in the State — 
whose attitude in politics is responsible for much of the 
secession sentiment, and now when the pinch comes they 
desert the cause and leave the men they once led to bear 
the grievous oppression of a militia made reckless and 
irresponsible by the cry of blood that is heard all over the 
State. John B. Henderson is more responsible than any 
man in Pike County for the solidifying and the intensifying 
of the support of the South in our part of the State, and 
where do you find him today? Pike County sent him to 
the legislature in 1848, when he was not yet twenty-two 
years old. Dick Wommack, of Lincoln County, was a mem- 
ber in 1848; four years ago he was likewise a member 
and was seeking election for another term. In a speech at 
Auburn I heard him say that although the Jackson resolu- 
tions passed the House of Representatives by nearly two 
to one and the Senate by nearly four to one, it was his 
opinion that had it not been for the efforts of Claib Jackson 
in the Senate and Henderson in the House, they would not 
have been adopted without some toning down in their 
declaration in favor of the South. Wommack himself was 
a very earnest supporter of the Jackson resolutions, and now 
he is a captain of the militia.^ Then again, the Federals 
are not only impressing very liberal amotmts of supplies 
from Southern men, but they are assessing upon them pay- 
ments of money. General Halleck assessed and collected 



'See Appendix H. 



44 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

last winter from Southern men of a certain neighborhood 
nearly $12,000 in cash and that same kind of robbery is 
going on in many other parts of the State^ If we live 
off the Southern men we help to make them the prey of 
friends and foe." 

"There is a good deal in what you say, but I cannot bring 
myself to think as you do about it. When the Federal Gov- 
ernment with its unlimited resources pounces down on some 
Southern man of moderate means and takes a horse or two, 
a fat beef or two, a liberal share of his wheat, com and 
hay and repeats the visitation in a few months, the conten- 
tion is that he is punished for his crimes. This is an out- 
rage on law, on humanity. It makes crime in conviction 
of public duty which until now was nowhere in this land 
considered a crime. The exigencies of war may seem in 
the minds of some to call for this course of action. This 
view is wrong. War must supersede law to some ex- 
tent, but this function should be confined to the narrowest 
limits. The law does not permit me to take a man's horse, 
or his com, without his consent, yet I must sometimes do it, 
or else the purpose which I was sent here to accomplish will 
fail. If I apply this necessary procedure to the property 
of Union men exclusively, I virtually constitute myself a 
judicial tribunal and declare the personal opinion of Union 
men a crime. I cannot do that. To my mind the Union 
man and the secessionist are equally entitled to their 
opinions and, other things being equal, equally entitled to 
respect and immunity from oppression. The fact that the 
Federal forces in Missouri go far beyond military necessity 
in the oppression of Southern men is no reason why I should 
similarly oppress Union men. To the cause of the South 
I shall cheerfully give everything I possess, my last dollar, 
my life if the fate of battle so decrees, but I shall not give 



■See War of the Rebellion. 



THE PLAN OUTLINED 45 

my conscience, my self-respect. There are dishonest TJnion 
men and I despise them; the great majority of the Union 
men are honest in their convictions. I accord to them 
the same freedom of choice and the same right to choose as 
I demand for myself. The majority of the people of this 
State are on the side of the South. On moral and intel- 
lectual lines the division of sentiment is sharp, and I am 
proud to know that the best blood of Missouri — which is the 
best in the world — ^is on our side. Of course there are ex- 
ceptions to this rule, but exceptions only demonstrate its 
force. I shall do nothing to bring the blush of shame to 
this proud people. Every act of mine shall conform to the 
high standard of honor maintained by the Confederate 
soldier, from the general in command to the humblest pri- 
vate. Suppose we reason on a lower plane. What good 
can be accomplished by the gratification of the brutal pas- 
sions of man? Have the militia gained anything by their 
house-burnings, robberies and murders? If they have 
gained one man, that man is a curse to them. On the 
contrary, they have helped me materially in recruiting for 
the Confederate army. If a Southern man believes his life 
safer in the Confederate army than at home he'll go to 
the army. Could we gain a single recruit by imitating the 
conduct of the militia? ISTot one. To us it would be a 
losing game, all around. The purpose of war is to destroy 
armies, not non-combatants, women and children, and he 
who thinks differently does not understand war. My 
quartermaster and my commissary are instructed to give 
iscrip, whenever possible, for everything I take. If the 
Confederacy establishes itself — and there can be no reason- 
able doubt on that score — ^this scrip will, I think, be re- 
deemed. If the South is conquered this is worthless and 
everything I take will practically be contributed. It is not 
just or fair to make a man contribute to a cause he does not 
approve of. It is just and fair to expect or require — to 



46 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

put it a little stronger — the Southern man to contribute to 
the support of the Confederate army. It is putting a part 
of the proceeds of his labor against our hardships and the 
risk of our lives. I cannot always confine my assessments 
to Southern men, but I do so whenever possible, and I think 
I am right. 

"As I said, in every locality I know where to get what 
I want. I also am told in every locality how many men 
are ready for me. These are disposed of according to what 
is best under the circumstances. If there are only a few, 
with a chance for more, and it is safe to do so, I leave them 
to complete the work ; if conditions are different I take them 
with me. I enrolled a hundred and ten men in Callaway 
County the other day.^ They made good selection of 
officers and they will take care of themselves, see to things 
generally and take a suitable opportunity to get across the 
Missouri river and reach the Confederate lines in safety 
and, if possible, without meeting any hostile force on the 
way. I adopt this plan whenever practicable. I do not 
want too many men with me. A large number would be 
too heavy a burden on the people and would place a great 
many more difficulties in the way of our success than the 
advantage occasionally to be derived from it would be 
worth. You must remember that with the exception of a 
few who saw service last year my men are entirely un- 
drilled. If you think but a moment you will see that it 
is impossible for my men to receive any practice or instruc- 
tion in the drill. This is a very serious disadvantage and 
the disadvantage is serious in proportion to our numbers. 
You know very well that a company of well drilled soldiers 
will, all other things being equal, easily drive a regiment 
of undrilled men off the field. The Federal troops in the 
State, the militia and even the home guards are immeasur- 



'Sce Appendix I. 



THE PLAN OUTLINED 47 

ably superior to my men in this respect. Did I not have 
the supremest confidence in the courage of my men, I 
should never meet the enemy in North Missouri. 

"The question as to whether I should fight at all or not 
has been carefully considered. My lieutenant-colonel, 
Frisby H. McCuUough, whom you have not seen and who 
is seldom with the command, being actively and success- 
fully engaged in recruiting, thinks we ought not to fight. 
He is the most fearless of men, the most honorable and 
the gentlest. He views with horror the possibility of 
exposing peaceful communities to the vengeance of the 
militia, who are bloodthirsty only when dealing with un- 
armed men. I possess the same sentiment. He thinks that 
much of the unnecessary cruelty of war can be prevented by 
a policy of declining battle. I wish I could think so, be- 
cause the idea of a bush %ht or a small skirmish is very 
distasteful to me. I cannot, however, agree with Colonel 
McCuUough as to the* effect of battle upon the brutality 
of the militia. In a few cases his apprehensions might be 
correct, but in a majority I believe a dread of battle would 
have a restraining effect. You know bloodthirsty men are 
generally cowards. I have heard it said, though I don't 
know whether truthfully or not, that last September the 
Federal officer in command at Boonville, learning of the 
Confederate approach, arrested a number of citizens, held 
them as hostages against the attack; and his threat of plac- 
ing the prisoners on the breastworks being communicated 
to the attacking force, caused it to Avithdraw from certain 
victory. So you see brutality and cowardice not infre- 
quently go together. The Boonville commander's stratagem 
would be a favorite with our Missouri militia if it were 
practicable in the conditions here, but it is not practicable. 
Were there not a single Confederate soldier or a guerrilla 
or a bushwhacker in Missouri the murdering, robbing and 
house-burning would go on just the same; in a diminished 



48 WITH PORTER IN NORTE MISSOURI 

degree here and there, maybe, but elsewhere making amends 
for lost time. There are some independent companies, 
claiming to be Confederates, but •without any authority 
whatever, making war upon Federal soldiers, militia and 
Home Guards and, if certain reports are true, upon Union 
men in this State. I regret this very much, but, if I am 
correctly informed, the men who organized and are leading 
these companies with such reckless disregard of conse- 
quences would be at home today, peacefully attending to 
their affairs had not they or their families been the victims 
of inhuman cruelty of the militia. I don't know what I 
might do if I were treated as they are said to have been 
treated, but I like to think that nothing could induce me 
to violate the amenities of war. As far as I have been able 
to judge the Federal troops coming into this State, except 
from Kansas, have been disposed to respect the laws of war. 
I am sorry to say that the Missouri militia, with some 
honorable exceptions, are a disgrace to the State. I believe 
they need but little incentive to outrage humanity on any 
and every occasion. 

"I propose to give battle whenever the circumstances are 
favorable, because I am satisfied that in doing so I shall 
greatly stimulate enlistments. I have another reason for 
occasionally — and perhaps much of tener than occasionally — 
giving battle. The greater activity I display the more Fed- 
erals I shall keep from the front. I believe that with 1,000 
men — say five of us with an average of 200 each — ^we can 
keep at least 5,000 Federals scattered in Missouri and at 
the same time keep squads and companies continually going 
to the Confederate lines. In speaking of fighting when the 
circumstances are favorable, I do not mean that we shall 
have the, ad vantage in numbers. We shall generally — per- 
haps always — be outnumbered and sometimes greatly out- 
numbered. Nothing can be gained by attacking a smaller 
force and but little by engaging an equal force, and I prefer 



TEE PLAN OUTLINED 49 

to avoid 8uch engagements. In fighting our numbers or 
half our numbers there is always a possibility of losing as 
many men as in fighting twice our numbers, and I am not 
going to throw one man's life away." 

The last ten words were spoken in a low tone and so 
slowly and earnestly that we were greatly impressed. I felt 
that Colonel Porter was a man to be followed anywhere with 
unquestioning loyalty. 

"Colonel, I think," said Captain Penny, "it the highest 
duty of an ofiBcer to be as careful of the lives of his men 
as of his own." 

"It is. To sacrifice a man is murder and murder is as 
much a crime for a general as for a private. Apart from 
moral considerations it is practically — mathematically, I 
might say — a mistake. My conscience shall be clear of 
that crime and my judgment clear of that blunder. I once 
read of an unsentimental man who, having lost his wife, de- 
clared that he would rather three of his best cows had died. 
I confess I had rather lose every horse in my comm.and than 
one man. Neither shall I sacrifice a horse. In fighting I 
shall always choose my ground. If I cannot choose my 
ground I shall not fight." 

"Think there might not come a time when you'd have to 
fight without being able to choose the ground ?" asked Cap- 
tain Penny. 

"Such a thing is not impossible, but it is very improbable. 
Of course, no precaution can absolutely prevent accident, 
but with my watchers everywhere — on whom I rely im- 
plicitly — ^I feel that our chances of being surprised by the 
Federals are not more than one to the thousand. If we 
are surprised and the conditions are not favorable we can 
get out just about as well as we could in a defeat. I know 
my limitations and I believe there are few who can bring 
men out of a defeat any better than I. Without this belief 

(4) 



50 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

I should never attack, nor allow an attack by, a force three 
or four times as large as mine." 

"Without being obliged," asked Captain Penny, "would 
you fight a force of Federals — I am not referring to State 
militia now — still, some of them will fight — ^would you fight 
a force of Federals four times as large as yours?" 

"Certainly; expect to do it many a time. I should not 
willingly do it with a thousand men. I may say I should 
not do it at all with a thousand. With my present numbers 
I should, and I think it would be good generalship. How- 
ever, I should be sure, as an old farmer friend used to say, 
that 'the sign was right.' I should lure the enemy on; leave 
what we would consider unmistakable evidence of demoral- 
ization. A pious looking farmer on the roadside would 
happen to be doing some work in his front yard. He would 
strengthen the impression already formed of our situation, 
and he would say that by actual count he found our num- 
ber to be whatever I thought advisable. If the force is 
large he will magnify my number two, three or four times. 
If the force is small he will reduce my number half or there- 
abouts and say that I am hourly expecting a junction with 
some other Confederate, to be definitely named as occasion 
requires. If there is a bridge near where I intend to fight, 
our rear guard would pretend to be trving to tear it up 
or to fire it as the enemy comes in sight. Then, at the 
proper time, pretend to have just discovered the enemy's 
presence; mount and bring them in, all unsuspicious of what 
awaits them, as my men — the best horsemen in the world 
— know so well how to do. A volley into the advance 
guard; no bullets wasted; a shift of position, say half a mile 
nearer, and another volley; then steady work if the enemy 
wants it, but always keeping our weakness of numbers hid; 
shoot to hit, and our men know what firearms were made 
for; and if we don't do some damage to a thousand Federals, 
I am the worst mistaken man that ever lived in Missouri. 



THE PLAN OUTLINED 51 

Whatever the issue of the battle, the commanding officer 
will realize that the rebels are no mean foe and there will 
be a loud call upon General Schofield for re-enforcements. 
This call will be all the louder if, when he thinks we are 
surrounded, we double on our tracks, .-ide six or eight miles 
at night down the bed of a stream, go singly twenty or 
thirty yards apart through heavy timber or thick bushes, 
strike a road, make thirty or forty miles at a furious gait 
and give a Federal troop a dozen volleys for breakfast. We 
will do all these things, and more, if I am spared; but I 
don't like the business, and when I enroll for the Con- 
federate service the last man I can get, I shall gladly leave 
this field and join the main army." 

There was a slight tone of sadness in the Colonel's words. 
He was silent for a while, then looking up pleasantly, re- 
marked that our host might be annoyed by our tardiness 
and quickened the pace. 

I had seen but little of life. Until my enlistment at the 
call of Governor Jackson, home and college had been my 
world. A lack of physical tone manifested in irregular, 
and sometimes prolonged, periods of bodily weakness, begun 
in poring over books and ended by a residence in the de- 
lightful Cumbri valley, State of Vera Cruz, in the time of 
Maximilian, perceptibly narrowed the opportunities of that 
little world and weakened confidence in my ability to 
measure men. In spite of this diffidence I said here is a 
man I can trust with ray life; meek but unyielding, gentle 
but persistent, modest but self-reliant, mild but enthusiastic, 
unselfish but determined, kind but fierce in duty, charitable 
but exacting in the demands of public good, cool but respon- 
sive to the appeal of passion, preferring repose but ready 
for superhuman action, loving peace but walking resolutely 
before the Juggernaut of war. Under his vigilant, direct- 
ing care there would always be a conservation of resources; 
nothing wasted, and, least of all, human effort and human 



52 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

life. Nothing would ever be done for the advancement 
of personal fame, but everything for the success and the 
glory of the Cause. 

A small clearing in the forest, enclosed by a low rail 
fence with a log cabin near the road, marked the end of 
our ride. As we dismounted a middle-aged, white-faced 
blonde, hatless and coatless, with a strange but rich voice, 
with unexpected courtesy and grace, bade us welcome and 
escorted us to seats in the shade of a spreading oak. I^ear 
by and imder the huge branches of the same tree stood the 
table, the appointment of which — the immaculate cloth, the 
dainty dishes, the product of excellent cookery — strongly 
contrasted with the surroundings. I had never before seen 
a native of England and here was a Yorkshireman, as I 
found by inquiry made at the first opportune moment. He 
possessed some education and was facile in conversation. 
His ready fund of anecdote, expression in quaint idiom and 
broad dialect, provided amusement and entertainment. 
The subjects and trend of his remarks gave no clew to his 
views on the political situation. My unconcern about that 
point precluded the most casual questioning and Captain 
Penny appeared equally indifferent. Our host's allusions to 
the war were altogether personal. He was evidently a sin- 
cere friend and admirer of Colonel Porter and his hospitable 
attentions to Captain Penny and myself were a tribute to 
that friendship. His wife, a plain looking, quiet woman, 
with motherly good nature showing in every feature, in 
every movement, attired in a neat brown calico dress, sun- 
bonnet of same material and blue gingham apron, added 
real pleasure to the occasion. The names of these two 
people have faded out of my memory, but not the picture 
of contentment and peace outlined by them, their log cabin 
and their little clearing in the woods. 



CHAPTER V 
CAPTURE OF MEMPHIS 

I have a dim recollection that we changed camp in the 
next two days — ^perhaps twice; but there were no events of 
interest enough to be retained in memory. Frank McAtee 
writes me that Minor Winn, of Marion County, whom he 
had known in Hannibal, came into camp and joined our 
company. I cannot recall the circumstance and but little 
connected with him; Joe Haley and Sam Minor remember 
him well. On Saturday morning John Young — ^the only 
son of him from whom four days before Ben Vansel and I 
persuaded a good breakfast — told me of an exciting scout 
the night before. 

"We ran into the Federals," he said, "before we knew it. 
It was 80 dark that you couldn't see your horse's head. It 
was a regular mix-up. We knew they were Federals by 
the way they talked. The revolvers cracked pretty lively 
for a few minutes. We did what damage we could in a 
hurry and then got away. I am pretty sure I got one fel- 
low; I ran my pistol arm between his horse's ears and to 
where he ought to be and let drive. It was too dark to 
see whether he fell or not, and when the sergeant said 
'Come,' we came." 

"Anybody hurt?" 

"A few scratches and two horses wounded." 

An hour later when a squad of Captain Cain's company 
came in it reported that our own men had furnished both 
sides of the mix-up and that the casualties were about equal. 

Early Sunday morning we broke camp and made a fairly 
rapid march northward. By noon twenty miles or more 



54 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

had been traversed wken Colonel Porter called a halt and 
gave minute instruction for the work before us. We v^ere 
within about two miles of Memphis, which we were going 
to take. The column when re-formed would be in four 
sections. The first, second and third sections would at the 
signal make a dead run and reach the north, west and east 
entrances to the town, respectively; ours, the fourth, would 
close up the south road. Sentries would be posted to stop 
all egress, and the remaining men would report in front of 
the court-house for assignment to duty. This duty would 
be the bringing to the court-house of every man in 
Memphis for parole ; or, if the militia company be found at 
its armory or under arms, to attack it at once. The last 
mile would be made rapidly and in absolute silence. These 
directions were carried out to the letter, without a hitch 
and with great rapidity. There was a wooden bridge over 
a ditch across the road, not far from the town; here John 
Young was stationed to see that no one rode across it for 
fear the noise would give the alarm. When our company 
reached it, John, in a bantering way, said, "Boys, you are 
going to see the elephant." I reminded him that some of 
us had already seen it. 

The surprise was complete. We had the town in our 
grasp and were ready for business before any of the inhabi- 
tants knew there was an armed rebel in Scotland County. 
The boys were much amused at the astonishment shown by 
the people. Our first work was done at the armory, where 
we got about a hundred muskets, in fine order, with 
cartridge boxes and much ammunition. We also secured 
a number of Federal uniforms. A blouse fell to me, which 
I wore only for comfort. My share also included a musket, 
accoutrements and a quantity of cartridges. 

The gathering in of the male population for paroling had 
already begun. Of all military duties arrests were to me 
the most disagreeable. The fourth man I brought in kept 



CAPTURE OF MEMPHIS 55 

telling me what a good Southern man he was. I stood it 
silently as long as my little stock of patience lasted when 
I blurted out, very rudely, I am afraid, "Keep your senti- 
ments to yourself; they are nothing to me. I am only obey- 
ing orders — very distasteful orders — and one man is just 
the same to me as another man." My prisoner seemed much 
crestfallen and uttered not another word. The next place 
visited was perhaps the most pretentious home in the town. 
A young lady was standing on the porch; a very pretty 
brunette, modest, but easy in manner, dignified yet cour- 
teous. I don't recall why I made no arrest here, but I do 
remember that I was so attracted by the beauty and the 
behavior of her who stood before me that I did what I did 
on no other occasion that day: Ask the name and political 
sentiments of the people. In a low musical voice came the 
answer, "The name is Smoot and we are Southern." This 
lady still resides in Memphis and she is the wife of Dr. J. 
E. Parish. 

On the way from the Smoot residence to the square for 
further orders, I noticed a number of our boys in front of 
a white-washed frame of one story, or perhaps a story and 
a half, and went up to discover the cause of the excitement. 
In the short space between the house and fence were three 
women and just outside the gate stood half a dozen or more 
boys giggling at and occasionally replying to, the talk of the 
virago, some of which was rather far from being refined. 
She was the oldest and coarsest looking of the sisters. She 
showered upon the boys and upon everything Southern all 
the maledictions in her knowledge. To a particularly 
furious expression Sam Minor made a witty reply which so 
incensed her that she let loose a horrid volley. Captain 
Penny was passing and heard what she said. He was a 
modest man, to whom anything coarse or vulgar was un- 
bearable. He rode up to the fence and said, "Madam, aren't 
you ashamed to use such language?" Without a word she 



56 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

picked up a heavy barrel stave and flung it with tremendous 
force and great precision, striking the captain squarely in 
the breast and almost knocking him out of his seat. As 
soon as he recovered his breath he turned his horse and rode 
away. 

"I wish I'd kiUed the hell-hound. If I had a pistol I'd 
done it, too." 

Of all present I knew only Sam Minor. There was one, 
the oldest in the squad, who seemed to take the matter 
seriously. He here put in with : 

'Tve a great mind to kill you. The likes of you ought to 
be killed for the decency of the community." 

"You cowardly son of a , you are afraid to shoot at 

a woman." 

"Am I? Well, here goes," bringing hia revolver to a 
level and cocking it. 

I was almost sure he was bluffing but I couldn't risk the 
possibility of an act that would disgrace our command. 
With a bound I was on him and in the next moment he wat» 
disarmed. The ease with which he was handled convinced 
me that he intended no harm. The woman deluged me with 
abuse for my interference and I politely informed her that 
I had business elsewhere. 

The second of these sisters is not now living. Her h\is- 
band, at the breaking out of the war, was glad to escape the 
environment of his home and enlist in the Federal army. 
He was killed at the battle of Blakely in Alabama, which 
was fought after both Lee and Johnston had surrendered.* 
The other two sisters disappeared, Eind no one knows whether 
they are living or dead. 

Before I could get my orders after leaving the scene of 
the little tempest a man came to Colonel Porter showing in 
his face subdued excitement and timidity. He was leading 



■See Appendix J. 



CAPTURE OF MEMPHIS 57 

a horse and was accompanied by a physician on horseback. 
He at once told what he wanted. 

"Are you Colonel Porter ?" 

"Yes." 

"Colonel, I have come to town in a great hurry for a 
doctor. My wife is momentarily expecting to be sick and 
I am anxious to get back without unnecessary delay. Your 
sentries let me in when I explained my business, but they 
wouldn't let me out." 

"They are instructed to let everybody in but to let nobody 
out. What is your name and where do you live ?" 

The answer to this I have partly if not entirely forgotten, 
and I have failed to get the slightest clew to what would 
supply the missing link in the chain. I have a dim recol- 
lection that the name was something like Parsons or Harper, 
that he lived two or three miles northeast of the town and 
that the physician's name was Sanders. The colonel, with 
a piercing gaze, asked bluntly, but not unkindly, 

"What is your politics ?" 

The very life blood seemed to leave his veins. His face 
assumed an ashy whiteness and for a moment motion and 
sensation were paralyzed; then his eye sought the earth as 
if he hoped it might open and hide him from some awful 
fate. Only a moment and self-control came, but it was the 
effect of the resignation of despair. In a manly tone, not 
lacking in courtesy and quiet dignity, he said, 

"I am a Union man." 

It seemed that the next word would be, "Now bring the 
hangman's noose," but there he stood awaiting with breath- 
less interest the colonel's answer. Presently it came. 

"And I believe an honest man. If I let you go will you 
give me your word of honor — I don't ask your oath — ^that 
you will give no information about me for three days?" 

"That is as little as you could ask. It isperf ectly fair. I 
willingly give my word and I shall keep it." 



58 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"I believe you will. Doctor, have yoii given your parole 
today for the same purpose?" 

"Yee." 

"Orderly, see that these men are passed out of our lines." 

In all my life I never saw a deeper gratitude depicted on 
a himian countenance. With both hands he gave the 
colonel's extended hand a long embrace, saying, 

"Colonel Porter, I shall never forget your kindness to 
me this day." 

"It gives me more pleasure than it does you. I hope the 
madam will have a fortunate time," 

The little group of Memphians present heard this inter- 
view with amazement. Perhaps they might have been 
willing for a whole hour to admit that, after all, the terrible 
rebel chief had a heart and soul. 

Everybody brought to the court-house was required to 
take an oath not to give information for forty-eight hours 
and in addition every militiaman and suspected militiaman 
was paroled not to take up arms against the Confederate 
States during the war unless exchanged. It is not probable 
that a single militiaman escaped parole, as there were men 
to indicate them who were well acquainted with the entire 
membership. One of these men was particularly officious 
and it seemed to us that he was extremely imprudent. He 
was so reckless in his remarks that some of us thought he 
must have been under the influence of liquor. When Cap- 
tain Dawson was brought in this man said to Colonel Porter, 
"Don't you ever let him come back here again. He's a bad 
man. He's very brutal and tyrannical in dealing with 
Southern men." 

There were no more orders for me and I strolled about 
a bit. I have no idea how Memphis looks now, as the three 
hours spent there on that beautiful Sunday afternoon were 
the occasion of my first and only visit. The impression 
then was of a pretty village filled with the pleasant homes 



CAPTURE OF MEMPHIS 59 

of intelligent people. A thousand thoughts on the happi- 
ness of peace and the diabolism of war surged up to be dis- 
pelled by the commonplace philosophy, "It has to be." 

I had not been on the street long before I saw that some- 
thing was wrong with Stacy's men. They were hot after 
somebody and they seemed to be trying to hide their pur- 
pose as much as possible. I heard one whisper to another, 

"Have we got him yet ?" 

"No, damn his murderous soul; but it will be hell with 
him when we do get him." 

"Who is he ?" I inquired of the first man, but he gave me 
a searching look and, with his companion, moved off without 
a word. I learned afterward that the object of their wrath 
was Dr. Wm. Aylward and that they got him. 

I returned to temporary headquarters and saw Captain 
William Dawson, the commander of the militia company, 
and his captors, who had just arrived from the captain's 
home, a mile or so out of town. After the sergeant had 
turned him in he detailed to me the incident of his capture. 

"Oh, he's true grit. He met us at the door with his 
pistol and opened fire so unexpectedly that it threw us into 
some confusion and our one or two shots went wild. I 
think his sight must be bad because he missed every time 
and yet he was perfectly cool. He had emptied his revolver 
and ran to the bottom of his garden before we got down 
to business. There a bullet in his neck halted him and he 
surrendered. When we started off he asked to be allowed 
to go by the house and bid his wife good-'by. His wife was 
a handsome woman and everything was nice about his home. 
After bidding her farewell he said, 'I never expect to see 
you again, but I'm going to die like a man.' He thinks we 
are going to kill him and he is as glum as you please, but he 
keeps a stiff upper lip." 

Generally the attitude of the people of Memphis to us 
was rather sullen. Frank McAtee says a young lady whom 



60 WITH PORTER IN NORTE MISSOURI 

he described as beautiful came out of a handsome house as 
he was passing and gave him half a pie, which he accepted 
with thanks and a keen appetite. I had a more pleasant 
but not so profitable experience in the same Hne. While 
passing in front of the Lovell hotel, then kept by Mr. 
Lovell's daughter, Mrs. Martha Cox, the latter came out and 
asked me to invite about twenty — ^I forget the exact num- 
ber — of the boys to dinner, with the statement that more 
could take their places when they had finished. One long 
table occupied nearly all of the space of the dining room, 
from which a door opened directly on the street. The seats 
around the table were quickly fiUed. While preparing to 
enjoy the inviting spread some of the boys were telling of 
the capture of the armory of the militia. Mrs. Cox's oldest 
daughter, a bright little girl in her tenth year, was an at- 
tentive listener and she interrupted with, 

"You didn't get their flag." 

"Oh, yes, we did." 

"You didn't get the great big United States flag, because 
they don't keep it there." 

"No, we didn't find it." 

"I know where it is. I'll show you where it is." 

"Now, Virginia," said her mother, "behave yourself." 

"I'll show you where it is," persisted the child, "I want 
you to take it. I don't like the Union soldiers. You are 
the men I like." 

"Virginia, you'll only get us into more trouble." 

"Come on, I'll show you where it is," and she darted out. 
Sure enough, it was found where the little enthusiast said it 
was kept. She was the first to enter the hotel on our return. 
She danced up to her mother in great glee, saying: 

"Mama, they've got it" 

Mrs. Cox had, only a smile of approval for the little rebel. 
We who had gone out found our places filled and had to wait 
for some time. I finally secured a place at the table, but in 




MRS. MARTHA COX AND HER DAUGHTER 
VIRGINIA 



CAPTURE OF MEMPHIS 61 

less than a minute the word was given at the door to "fall in." 
I arose and thanked Mrs. Cox for her kindness. 

"Do you have to go now ? Can't you stay long enough to 
get your dinner ?" 

"We have to obey orders, and the orders are to fall in. 
I see that some of the men are already mounted." 

"Are you going to have a battle ?" 

"I cannot say. We never know what we are going into." 

"Eeally ? Well, I hope no harm will come to you all." 

Mrs. Cox was a woman of very pleasing appearance and 
demeanor. She died many years ago. She had four chil- 
dren, William A., aged eleven years, now living in the 
State of Washington; Virginia B., aged nine, now in 
an institution for the blind in St. Louis; George A., aged 
seven, living in Missouri, and Mary L., aged four, now 
the wife of Mr. Zack T. Work, Livingston, Montana. 
Mrs. Work, always called MoUie, says the first event in her 
memory is that she was sitting on a. fence beside Grandpa 
Lovell, singing a rebel song, and soldiers telling her grand- 
father to make her stop singing that song, but that she only 
sang the louder. A little later one is that her mother was 
making a quilt border with red and white cloth, which looked 
to her so much like a rebel flag that she hoisted it out of a 
second-story window, where the soldiers saw and captured it. 
When they discovered what it was they returned it to her 
mother. Little Virginia was nearly blind when she piloted 
us to the flag, but I was not aware of the fact, so bright looking 
was she and active in all her movements. It appears that 
her expertness was only manifested in places with which she 
was familiar and that her memory of localities and the posi- 
tion of objects was remarkable. She is now only just able to 
distinguish day from night. 

The Rebellion Record, volume 5, page 40, says : "July 13 
a party of rebel guerrillas entered Memphis, Mo., captured 



62 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

the militia troope stationed there, drove out the Union men, 
and robbed the stores." 

An editorial in the Missouri Democrat (now the St Louis 
Globe-Democrat) of August 1, 1862, denouncing "the murder 
of Dr. W. W. Aylward," goes on to say: "Our informant 
states that there was a general pillage in the town of Memphis 
of whatever the banditti wanted, money, clothing, arms, etc. 
Some of the citizens were kept prisoners for a few hours in 
the court-house. The clerk was obliged to give up the posses- 
sion of his oflSce and all the indictments on file for horse steal- 
ing and similar crimes were torn up in his presence. These 
and many other particulars of a kindred nature are narrated 
to us by a gentleman of the highest respectability, himself per- 
sonally cognizant of many of the facts by presence on the 
spot. The number of Porter's band that entered Memphis 
was, by careful count, one hundred and sixty-nine." 

The gentleman quoted was as short on veracity as he was 
said to be long on respectability. If indictments were torn 
up — ■ which I do not believe — they were indictments for 
political ofFenses, for in that day some of the courts were 
willing instruments of military rigor. It seems incredible 
that a provost guard in the short time of a hurried occupation 
of a county town could find the indictments or any other 
special papers among the records without the connivance of 
the clerk in charge. Again, consider the absolute futility of 
destroying an indictment when a new one coiild be speedily 
had where conviction was probable. But everything went in 
those days. The only papers worth while destroying were 
the bonds forced from citizens because of Southern sympathy. 
There was no pillaging or robbing. It was right to take the 
military property of the Federal militia, and even something 
of that was returned. Beyond this not a thing was taken 
except ammunition from the store of a man reported to us 
as a Southern sympathizer. Jacob Baxter of our command 
went to an acquaintance who kept a store then and does now, 



CAPTURE OF MEMPHIS 63 

Mr. A. P. Patterson, and told him that he must have all the 
ammunition in his store. Mt. Patterson unlocked the door 
and gave what was required. While the estimate of our 
number was only exaggerated one-third, instead of fourfold 
or more, as was commonly done, it was next to impossible for 
anybody in Memphis to make a "careful coimt." 

The "Vindication of General McNeil," a long letter writ- 
ten to the New York Times, December 10, 1862, by William 
R. Strachan, published in the Palmyra Courier and copied 
by authority of the War Department into the "War of the 
Rebellion," series I, volume 22, part 1, page 861, says: 
"Porter, at the head of several thousand of these guerrillas, 
went into Memphis, also not garrisoned, seized a Dr. 
Aylward, the prominent Union man of that community, 
and hung him, with a halter made of hickory bark, until he 
was dead." "Several thousand of these guerrillas" and "a 
halter made of hickory bark" show the fertile imagination 
of the ex-provost marshal and his indifference to facts upon 
which to base a vindication. Fancy a guerrilla using a 
hickory^bark halter — and in a country where that material 
was scarce and rope plentiful. 

A prominent citizen of Memphis who well remembers our 
occupation of the town writes, in answer to my inquiry 
of what the people thought of our behavior there, "Colonel 
Porter's men acted very kindly to all, so far as I know, 
except the taking of Captain York's saddle, which was re- 
turned." The naming of the Federal oflScer is probably 
wrong. Captain York was mortally wounded in an en- 
gagement between Colonels Porter and Lipscomb two weeks 
before the occupation of Memphis. 

In the Memphis Democrat of July 2, 1908, Mr. Patter- 
son, giving some of his recollections of our visit, mentions 
this incident : "A wounded Federal captain, whose name I 
have forgotten, was staying with Thomas Richardson, a mer- 
chant living here. The captain had a fine military saddle 



64 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

and outfit and word came to me that one of Colonel Porter's 
men had taken the captain's saddle. I at once turned to 
Colonel Porter and told him the circumstance. He spoke 
to one of his soldiers and told him to go down to the house 
and guard it imtil he left, and also to have the saddle re- 
turned. The guard remained there till Porter left the town, 
and the saddle was returned. Colonel Porter left Memphis 
about 6 p. m., and went to Henry Downing's farm, eight 
miles west of Memphis." The error in this statement is the 
hour of our evacuation. We left Memphis not later than 
four o'clock in the afternoon. 

It is said that some of the Memphians are still sore over 
their arrests. The only regret I have concerning the events 
of that day is my harsh language to the individual who 
persisted in describing how good a Southern man he was. 



CHAPTER VI 
THE MURDER OF AYLWARD 

The hanging of Dr. Aylward during the night following 
our capture of Memphis was editorially branded by the 
Missouri Democrat "as foul a piece of assassination as ever 
was committed by Mexican bandits," and every other blood- 
thirsty organ in the State of Missouri echoed this ferocity 
of expression. The same papers copied with intense ap- 
proval the communication of Colonel Glover to Major Ben- 
jamin, dated April 10, 1862, at Edina, the concluding para- 
graph of which reads: "My instructions are not to bring 
in these fellows," referring to bushwhackers, which term wau 
made to cover everything Confederate, authorized or un- 
authorized, "if they can be induced to run, and, if the men 
are instructed, they can make them run," and hundreds 
of morsels like this : "We captured and killed one Francis 
Taylor, a guerrilla and thief of the worst sort," in the report 
of Captain Leeper to Colonel Woodson, of the Third Mis- 
souri Cavalry, which is found in "War of the Rebellion," 
series I, volume 21, page 684. 

Colonel H. S. Lipscomb, of the Eleventh Missouri Militia, 
started from Shelbina, April 2, 1862, with military supplies 
and an escort boimd for Shelbyville. Near Salt River he 
was attacked by Stacy, and two of his men and a citizen who 
had been overtaken by the escort and was riding by the side 
of the colonel were killed. Later in the day Stacy himself 
was attacked, two of his men killed — one after being thrown 
from his horse and surrendering. These facts are gathered 
from the History of Shelby County, and this extract, page 
729, tells the sequel: "Captain John F. Benjamin was 

(5) 



66 WITH POBTEB IN NORTH MISSOURI 

almost beside himseK with rage and excitement. He had a 
room full of Confederate prisoners in the Sheriff's office 
upstairs in the coust-house. The most of these, if not all of 
them, had not been regularly enlisted and mustered into the 
Confederate service as regular soldiers, but were partisan 
rangers. Benjamin declared he would shoot three of these 
men instanter in retaliation for the three Unionists killed that 
day. Among the prisoners was one Rowland Harvey (alias 
'Jones' or 'Major Jones'), of Clark County. A few days 
before this he had been captured near EUiottsville, on Salt 
River, by a scouting party of the Eleventh Missouri State 
Militia, led by Benjamin himself. Harvey was a lieutenant 
of a band of Confederate partisans of which Marion Marma- 
duke, of this county, was captain. Captain Benjamin selected 
Harv«y as the first victim. He was an elderly man, and it 
is believed was a reputable citizen. But now he was given 
a hard fate and a short shrift. It is said that the guard 
opened the door of the prison room and pulled out Harvey 
as a fancier thrusts his hand in a coop and pulls out a chicken. 
He was hurried downstairs, taken out into the stockade, 
southeast corner of the yard, and tied to one of the palisades 
with a new rope before he realized what was being done. He 
seemed to think the proceedings were intended merely to 
frighten him. In two minutes a file of soldiers was before 
him, and he was looking into the muzzles of six Austrian 
rifles. The command 'fire!' was given — ^there was a crash 
of guns — and in an instant the unfortunate man was a corpse. 
He covdd not fall to the ground, for he was lashed to the 
palisade, but his limbs gave way and hie head dropped on his 
breast, while his body hung limp and twisted. By Benja- 
min's order the body was taken down by some Confederate 
sympathizers and carried into an old log building in the rear 
of J. B. Marmaduke's store, on the southwest comer of the 
square. Here it was prepared for burial and interred by 
the same dasa of citizens in the ShelbyviUe cemetery, where 



THE MUBDEB OF AYLWABD 67 

its ashes yet lie. Another prisoner captured at the same 
time with Harvey was John Wesley Sigler, a young man of 
Shelbyville. He had a close call. Benjamin selected him 
for the next victim from among the now terror stricken pris- 
oners huddled together in the Sheriff's office; but now more 
rational-minded men interposed and better counsels prevailed. 
It was urged that it would be better to wait and see what the 
result of Donahue's and HoUiday's scout would be — ^maybe 
they would exterminate the band that had done the murderous 
work. Wait and see. This was done, and soon came Dona- 
hue bearing in a wagon the corpses of Camehan and Bradley, 
and these were tumbled into the room where Harvey lay, all 
ghastly and gory. Then Benjamin's wrath was mollified and 
no one else was shot." William Oamehan was the man killed 
in the fight and James Bradley was the man killed after 
capture. They were both citizens of Shelby County. 

J. B. Threlkeld, now of Shelbina, who had enlisted in 
Captain Preston Adams' company of Colonel Green's regi- 
ment, been in the battles of that regiment, including the 
capture of Lexington, and left General Price's winter quar- 
ters the latter part of December with Lieutenant Oliver 
Sparks, bearing dispatches to several recruiting officers in 
North Missouri, was captured with seven others by Benja- 
min's men and put in prison at Shelbyville. He saw Harvey 
shot. He says, "Benjamin then came to the prison, had a 
man named Dockton and myself called up and told us that 
because we were the only men he had as prisoners that had 
been in the Southern army he was going to send Lieutenant 
Donahue and thirty men after Stacy and if they did not 
succeed in killing two men, as soon as they returned he was 
going to take us out and shoot us as he did Harvey. They 
caught and killed Camehan and Bradley, so Benjamin came 
to prison that night and released us from a death sentence 
by telling us what had happened. A few days after he had 
Harvey shot, Benjamin went to St. Louis, leaving in com- 



68 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

mand his first lieutenant, who was a worse man than Benja- 
min. There were eighteen of us in a room ten by fourteen 
feet. You know we were crowded. There was a young 
man from north of Palmyra and he and I were great chums. 
One day we got to joshing one of the guards. The fellow 
got mad and reported us to the lieutenant, who came with 
two more guards and told them 'I put you here to guard 
these prisoners and if they say a word to you shoot them 
down; if you don't you are not the boys I take you to be.' 
My chum told one of the men, who must have weighed over 
two hundred poimds, that he didn't look like a man who 
would shoot another for talking. He stuck his bayonet in 
my chum's thigh. It was a nasty wound. I told him he 
was a damned coward to do such a thing. He cocked his 
gun, put it to his shoulder and swore he would shoot me. I 
told him a coward would not shoot a white man in the face. 
I then told him that if he and I lived through the war and 
met after it I would remind binn of that day. We met in 
1868 and I made my word good." 

An extract from page 731 of the history before quoted: 
"His" — referring to Colonel John M. Glover, commanding 
the Third Missouri Cavalry — "men were instructed to enforce 
Halleck's and Schofield's orders against bushwhackers and to 
shoot them down, and they obeyed with alacrity. Glover's 
troops penetrated into Adair, Scotland, Clark, Lewis and 
Shelby Counties and killed seven men who were accused of 
bushwhacking. The names of some of these were William 
A. Marks, a relative of Colonel Martin E. Green; ^ William 
Musgrove, William Ewing, Standiford." 

An extract from pages 732-3: "On the 8th of June a 
scouting party of the Eleventh Missouri State Militia, com- 
manded by Captain W. W. Lair, made a prisoner of Major 
John L. Owen, who lived near Monroe City, in Marion 



'Afterwards brigadier-general In the Confederate Army. 



THE MURDER OF AYLWARD 69 

County, and shot him. Owen had been a major in the 
Missouri State Guard under General Price. He had taken 
part in the fight at Monroe City, when he burned the depot, 
some cars, and destroyed other property amounting to about 
$25,000. Eetuming home in December, 1861, he found an 
indictment for treason hanging over him, and so he could not 
come in and surrender. He continued to hide out until he 
was captured. He was found in a patch of brush near his 
residence early in the morning. N^ear him lay his blankets 
and a revolver. Captain CoUier and the Shelby Counly 
company made him prisoner and took him to his family. 
Here they assured his wife they would take him to Palmyra 
and would not harm him. Half a mile from his house they 
set him on a log against a fence and put eight bullets through 
him — caliber 54. The shooting was done by the immediate 
orders of Captain Collier, although Captain Lair was present. 
These officers are now both residents of Shelbyville, and 
Captain Collier states that when he left Palmyra he had 
strict orders to enforce the terras of General Schofield's 
'Orders No. 18,' enjoining the 'utmost vigilance in hunting 
down and destroying* all bushwhackers and marauders, who, 
the order said, 'when caught in arms, engaged in their unlaw- 
ful warfare,' were to be shot down 'on the spot.' The action 
of Captains Lair and Collier was approved by their superior 
officers, but condemned by very many people who regarded 
the killing of Owen as an atrocious murder. It was said 
that he did not come within the purview of Schofield's order 
in that he was not engaged in 'unlawful warfare' at the time 
of his capture, and that he was unarmed. Three or four 
members of Collier's company have assured the writer that 
Owen did have a pistol near him when captured, which he 
admitted was his, and this was construed to be the same as if 
he was 'in arms.' " 

Captain Collier was easily surfeited by the work which 
whetted the appetite of the average Missouri militia officer. 



70 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Referring to the ten prisoners shot at Macon City, Septem- 
ber 26, 1862, the history gays, page 734: "Edward Riggs 
was a young man. He was captured during the campaign 
against Porter, and confined for a time at Shelbyville, while 
Captain Collier commanded the post. McNeil gave Col- 
lier order to shoot him, but Collier postponed the carrying 
out of the order some days until a letter from the proper 
authorities came, notifying him that his resignation (which 
he had previously sent in) was accepted and he was out of 
the service. McNeU (ColUer?) turned Riggs over to his 
successor. Captain Lampkins, informing him of the circum- 
stances, but Lampkins said, 'Well, nobody has given me any 
orders to shoot him;' and so he turned him over to some- 
body else, and so at last he fell into the hands of Merrill. It 
cannot now and here be stated why these men^ were shot. 
General Merrill stated at the time and still declares that 
'each of them had for the third time been captured while 
engaged in the robbing and assassination of his own neigh- 
bors, and therefore the most depraved and dangerous of the 
band.' It was further alleged that 'all of them had twice, 
some of them three, and others had four times made solemn 
oath to bear faithful allegiance to the Federal Government, 
to never take up arms in behalf of the rebel cause, but in 
all respects to deport themselves as true and loyal citizens 
of the United States.' It was further charged that 'every 
man of them had perjured himself as often as he had sub- 
scribed to this oath, and at the same tinoie, his hands were 
red with repeated murders.' For the sake of General Mer- 
rill and all those who were responsible for the execution of 
these prisoners, it is supposed that these charges and allega- 



^They were Dr. A. C. Rowe, Blbert Hamilton, William Searcy, J. A. 
Wysong, J. H.'Fox, David Belt, John H. Oldham, James H. Hall, Frank B. 
Drake and Edward Riggs. The last two were dtiiens of Shelby County. 
James Gentry had been sentenced, but a night or so preylons to the day 
set for his ezecntlon he made his escape from the prison where he was 
confined and got safely away. He was then and still is a citlien of 
Shelby County. 



THE MURDER OF AYLWARD 71 

tions were sustained by abundant proof. Surely unless 
they were, tbe general could never have been so eruel as to 
consent to their execution." 

The administration of military affairs in Missouri was 
characterized by much vigor, but more ferocity. The in- 
structions were, "Exterminate the rascals;" "Kill every 
prisoner who runs and if he doesn't run, make him run," and 
many others of the same meaning. A convenient excuse 
was : He violated his parole, he robbed, he murdered. The 
very men who gave these ferocious instructions to their sub- 
ordinates were denounced by the rabid press of Missouri 
as "too lenient" and petitions went to the government, some 
of them at the instance of members of Congress, for the 
removal of GSneral Schofield and the appointment of a gen- 
eral who would treat the rebels with "greater severity." 
This movement was not altogether inspired by an insatiable 
thirst for blood. Political power was the purpose to be 
attained and conditions seemed to iudicate that confiscation, 
the bullet and the torch were the surest means. 

Whoever has the time and the opportunity to search the 
records can ascertain how many reports of officers of Federal 
militia in Missouri there are describing the shooting of 
prisoners. Without special investigation I have seen many. 
In addition to this ghastly list there is a longer one — much 
longer — and on it are the names of citizens all over the State 
of Missouri who sympathized with the South and who, for 
such sentiments, were killed by the militia. In my native 
county of Lincoln I can recall twelve names, all reputable 
citizens, ten of them men of education, culture and high 
social standing. One of these I knew from my infancy. 
TTia only son, my intimate companion for years, against his 
father's sentiment and against the sentiment of his every 
associate, espoused the Union cause and entered the Federal 
army, from which he never returned. The father had never 
done an overt act against the Government. When taken 



72 WITH PORTER IN NORTE MISSOURI 

from his home at night he said to the officer in charge, "If 
you think I was concerned, in the Long Arm prairie busi- 
ness," referring to a recent skirmish a few miles north of his 
home, "and will give me time I can prove to your satisfac- 
tion that I was not." "You are going to be shot," was 
the only answer. These lamentable occurrences were not 
the slightest justification for the murder of a prisoner by a 
Confederate, but they put a demon in the heart of many 
a Missourian who hitherto had never harbored a cruel 
thought. 

I am willing that every killing of a prisoner by any 
command claiming, rightfully or wrongfully, to be a Con- 
federate shall be termed murder. If the other side claim 
that its killing of prisoners is a punishment for the crime 
of rebellion the concern is not mine. Right peuT>le Avill 
rightly judge. 1 abhor the law of retaliation. Colonel 
Porter abhorred it. (reneral Lee abhorred it. 

Captain Tom Stacy was a man of many admirable traits. 
He was warm-hearted and generous. He went into a storm 
of bullets to relieve an enemy to whose appeals his comrades 
had turned deaf ears, and laid down his life in the act. He 
was as brave as Richard Coeur de Lion, as gentle as a woman 
and as vindictive as a savage. If one of his men were 
captured and killed he murdered the man who did it if he 
could catch him, or, failing him, the nearest man that he 
could catch to the man who did it. Two of his men were 
captured and killed. Dr. Aylward said on the street in 
Memphis on Saturday, July 12, 1862, that he had bayoneted 
theee two rebels. Aylward was a passionate man,^ thor- 

'Dr. WllUam Aylward lived about nine miles northeast of Memphis, and 
was farming and selling goods when the war broke out. He was assistant 
surgeon of Colonel Moore's command while It lay at Athens in Clark 
County, and at other points in 1861. He afterwards moved to Memphis 
and began the business of keeping a hotel. He was a stanch Union man 
and a great hater of those who sympatbiied with the Southern canae. 
He was also a politician who was very outspoken and even abusive In 
expressing his sentiments and was extremely excitable. He was charged 
by his enemies with cruelly mistreating some prisoners which Colonel 
McNeil's forces bad captured in a skirmish near Downing in Schuyler 
County.— History of Scotland County, page 621. 



THE MURDER OF AYLWARD 13 

oughly saturated with rebelphobia and fond of boasting of 
what he had done or would do to the sympathizer. It is 
not believed that he did what he boasted of doing. It may 
be that he never said he bayoneted the two men. Whether 
he said it, or said it not, a then resident of Memphis as- 
serted that he did say it and told the circumstances of his 
saying it to a member of Stacy's company. One of the two 
men who were captured and killed had a brother and the 
other had a cousin in Stacy's company. These two were 
resolute men, and the killing of a brother and a cousin, 
under the circumstances, was not calculated to make them 
less resolute. Every member of Stacy's command was a 
resolute man, and Stacy himself was a resolute man. 

The editorial to which reference was made at the begin- 
ning of the chapter continues: "He was a prisoner in the 
hands of Porter's band, at a dwelling or farm house about 
seven miles west of Memphis, which is the county seat of 
Scotland County. He was in the house and in bed, the 
house guarded by guerrillas. At midnight or later, a squad 
entered the house, required him to get up and dress, on the 
pretense that Porter wanted to see him at his camp near by. 
He was hurried in dressing, with oaths and curses. His 
hands were pinioned behind him. In passing out he asked 
the owner of the house to go with him, but one of the party 
held a pistol to his head and forbade him to stir. Outside 
the door the victim was heard ejaculating prayers for a 
minute, but his words ceased in a gurgle of gagging or 
strangulation. Next morning his body was found in a wheat 
field a short distance off, where it had been thrown with 
the mark of the rope about his neck, which, however, was 
not broken. Traces on a tree indicated that he had been 
suspended there, but there is uncertainty whether his life 
was taken at the door of the house, when he was led out, 
or by strangulation in hanging. His pockets were rifled. 

"Di". Aylward was a man of intelligence and respectabil- 



74 'WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

ity — obnoxious to the guerrillas on account alone of his 
active and determined loyalty." 

The capture of Memphis was so quietly made and its occu- 
pation so free of noise that many of its inhabitants were 
ignorant of the situation until they were invited to proceed 
under guard to the court-house. Dr. Aylward was in a house 
in town, whether in his own house or a neighbor's is unknown 
to us, and whether he saw any of our men before leaving lie 
house is also unknown. When he came out he asked a mem- 
ber of Stacy's company, Mr. W. S. Griffith, now living in 
Butler, Missouri: 

"What men axe these?" 

"Who are you?" 

"My name is Aylward." 

"You are the man we want We are Captain Stacy's com- 
pany, of Colonel Porter's command. I'U take you to Captain 
Stacy." 

When Griffith, with his prisoner, reported to Stacy, he was 
ordered not to take Aylward to the court-house, but to guard 
him and to keep quiet about the matter until we went into 
camp after evacuating Memphis. At the camp on the DoAvn- 
ing farm Stacy and Griffith took Aylward to Colonel Porter 
and were told by him to select a suitable guard for the night. 
Stacy selected as guards the brother and the cousin of the two 
men who were captured and killed. He did not tell them 
why they were selected. The telling was not necessary ; they 
were good guessers, and Stacy knew that they would guess 
right. The next morning the guards reported that the pris- 
oner had "escaped in the darkness of the night." Mr. 
Griffith says that when he heard what the guard reported he 
had his opinion as to how he escaped, and he heard afterwards 
that Aylward had been found in a ditch with his neck broken. 

It is unfortunate that Aylward's alleged conversation was 
carried to Stacy's men. His execution on evidence so insuffi- 
cient was unfortunate and inexcusable. It is regrettable that 



THE MURDER OF AYLWARD 75 

the affair happened during the time Stacy's company was a 
part of Colonel Porter's command. It is one of the infirm- 
ities of human nature that excesses are followed by excesses 
in retaliation. It was so in the dawn of history; it will be 
so in its twilight. War breaks down many of the obstacles 
that hedge this savage impulse in the hearts of men, and their 
restoration in the consequent peace is a process of years. 
During the war a Union man murdered without the slightest 
provocation a Southern man in my native village in the north- 
western part of Lincoln Q>unty, and went imwhipt of jus- 
tice. Fifteen years later the murderer on very slight 
provocation was himself murdered. A trial jury was hard 
to find. The sheriff, a gallant Confederate ofiicer, went into 
the southeastern part of the county and summoned every man 
to be a witness in the case of Blank, indicted for the murder 
of Blank, and every man protested that he knew nothing of 
the circumstances of the homicide. "Then," said the wily 
sheriff, "you are the very man I want as a juror, and you 
can't disqualify yourself." A very large panel was sum- 
moned. At the trial so many disqualified themselves on the 
oath that their minds were made up, past all possibility of 
change, that the judge accosted one of them — an intelligent 
and prominent farmer of Clark township, Mr. Bart Pollard — 
with the inquiry if his opinion were based on his knowledge 
of the facts in the case. "No, sir; I know nothing of the 
facts." "How, then, can you swear that your mind is made 
up and cannot be changed by the testimony?" "Well, your 
honor, I don't care anything about the testimony. When 
I heard that Blank was killed, I said, 'Justice was done; he 
ought to have been killed twenty-five years ago.' " The 
.defendant was acquitted and nineteen-twentieths of the people 
of the county approved the verdict. 



CHAPTER VII 
THE PAROLING OF CAPTAIN DAWSON 

The time between the hanging of Aylward and the engage- 
ment at Vassar Hill was filled by leisurely marching thither 
and hither, scouting to learn how the affair of Sunday had 
whetted the temper of the enemy, considerable rest and the 
business that Colonel Porter always had in hand. A small 
squad under Lieutenant Wills had a lively experience. At 
the end of a lane was a much larger force of Federals. The 
back track was hurriedly taken when it was found that the 
other end of the lane was occupied by a force which| while 
smaller, was several times too large to be attacked. The 
boys bolted the fence and struck across the open field. They 
were all riding race horses, but that did not prevent the 
vigorous use of both whip and spur. The lieutenant rode the 
prettiest and most active and high-spirited animal I »iver 
saw — a dapple-sorrel mare, which tried to keep her head in 
the clouds. She led the others, and coming to a narrow lane 
between two high rail fences she arose without apparent effort 
and sailed over both, to the amazement of the boys and the 
lieutenant as well. Wills said he could only account for the 
wonderful feat by the supposition that having never before 
been under fire she was intensely frightened at the hail of 
the bullets. The severe run was the only mishap to the squad. 

Late Monday afternoon we resumed the march after an 
hour's rest, but went eastwardly instead of westwardly, as we. 
bad done in the afternoon. Captain Penny headed the col- 
umn and I was riding on his left. We had gone about two 
miles and were in a lane when I called the captain's attention 
to a number of horsemen a hundred yards ahead of us, and by 



PAROLING OP CAPTAIN DAWSON 77 

drawing our bridle reins brought the column to a halt The 
gathering darkness made doubtful the identity of the force and 
prevented a satisfactory estimate of its number. The outline 
of a farm house was visible and in front of it the troop were 
standing partly dismounted. We had been marching silently, 
as was our custom, and in the stillness we heard one of them 
voicing our own perplexity by saying, "I wonder who those 
men are." A little streak of physical cowardice developed in 
me when I happened to think that, heading the colximn, I 
would be in direct line of a volley should the force in front 
be Federal and our status be discovered, and in order to give 
the man behind me a chance I rode carelessly to the fence as 
if in an ordinary breaking-of-ranks movement. Then realiz- 
ing that in the light of my experience the position T had 
vacated was the safer one, an equal streak of moral cowardice 
kept me from returning. Many a man has gone to danger 
and to death through moral cowardice. Only a few near the 
head of the column knew the reason of the halt. Colonel 
Porter came forward to discover the trouble. On his order 
I rode half the distance between us and the unknown and 
called out: 

"Whose command are you?" 

"Whose command axe you?" 

"Captain Penny's." 

"We are Captain Cain's." 

"We wanted to know whether or not you were Federals 
before we came down on you." 

"And we wanted to be sure you were Federals before we 
let drive at you." 

Captain Cain had finished the business of his scout in less 
than the expected time and was making for the point where 
he knew our next camp would be. 

We encamped about eight o'clock. It was here that Mr. 
A. P. Patterson, the brother-in-law of Captain Dawson, 
accompanied by the Eev. H. P. S. Willis, a Presbyterian 



78 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

minister, visited Colonel Porter in behalf of the captain's 
release. The two had been acquainted -with Colonel Porter for 
some years. In a communication to the Memphis Democrat, 
Mr. Patterson says: "On Monday, July 14^, next day after 
Colonel Porter left Memphis, Mrs. Dawson suggested that I 
should go and see Colonel Porter and try to effect his release, 
so Eev. WiUis and myself started up to Porter's camp about 
five o'clock p. m. Porter was then, I think, at Oierry Grove 
Springs, about seventeen or eighteen miles west of Memphis. 
Seven miles west of Memphis Jacob Miller, a picket guard, 
fell in with us and promised to take us into camp, as we would 
reach the camp after dark. We arrived at the camp about 
ten o'clock and were shown to the tree under which Colonel 
Porter was lying. We at once stated our business, and that 
was to effect Captain Dawson's release. Porter told us he 
would exchange him for any Confederate prisoners. We 
told him there were none nearer than Palmyra, and from this 
we drew the inference that there was little chance for his 
release. I tlieu expressed a desire to see Captain Dawson. 
Porter ordered a soldier to bring him. The soldier went and 
said to Dawson, when he had roused him, 'Captain Dawson, 
the colonel wants to see you !' As these were the same words 
he had heard the previous night spoken to Dr. Aylward, and 
about the same time of the night, no doubt the captain thought 
he realized the significance of the words, 'the colonel wants 
to see you.' In a few minutes the guard brought him to the 
tree under which we were sitting. Captain Dawson told 
Colonel Porter that he had no apologies to make for shooting 
at his men and no favors to ask. Porter looked at him and 
said, 'Captain Dawson, I have no charges against you, sir, 
except that you are a Federal soldier; your shooting at my 
men was a brave act and I honor you for it.' ^ Dawson then 



'If conditions wpre reversed, and a Confederate soldier were to emntr 
his revolver at a Missouri Peieral Militia sqnad and fall to escane how 
long would be live after capture T ^° escaoe, now 



PAROLING OF CAPTAIN DAWSON 79 

weut back to liis bed on the grouad. * * * W. G. Down- 
ing, who now lives in Montana, and who was then a boy at 
the home of his father, Henry Downing, relates a little inci- 
dent which occurred the morning Colonel Porter left the 
Downing farm. Mr. Downing greeted Captain Dawson, and 
asked him if he wished to send any word to his family. He 
said, 'No, except that if I have to die, I will die like a man.' 
As Dr. Aylward had disappeared, he expected that he would 
go the same way. Colonel Porter assured me that Captain 
Dawson would not be hurt. It has been said that it was 
rumored next morning that Dr. Aylward had escaped, and 
that Porter never knew any better. That is a mistake, as 
what follows will show. I had promised Mrs. Aylward before 
leaving Memphis that I would make inquiry about Dr. Ayl- 
ward. About the last thing before leaving Colonel Porter I 
said, 'Colonel Porter, I promised Mrs. Aylward that I would 
make inquiry in reference to Dr. Aylward.' He hesitated a 
moment, and then said, 'He is where he will never disturb any- 
body else.' I understood what that meant and dropped the 
subject at once, and I often wonder at my temerity for asking 
the question under the circumstances. The cowed condition 
of the people at that time was a phenomenon that is hard to 
account for. On our way up to Porter's camp and back we 
did not meet anybody on the road except the picket, who 
piloted us in, and no one in Memphis knew that Dr. Aylward 
was hung till we returned Tuesday morning." 

Nevertheless, it is true that Colonel Porter did not know, 
when he was talking to Mr. Patterson, that Dr. Aylward 
had been hung, but evidently, like Mr. Griffith, "he had his 
opinion" about his escape. 

Mr. Patterson and Mr. Willis after leaving our camp, 
spent the night with a Baptist minister, the Rev. Mr. Lyon, 
who lived on the road a short distance from our camp. On 
Friday morning Colonel John McNeil, with three or four 
of his officers, were in Memphis and stopped at the Tull 



80 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Hotel. This was before Captain Dawson reached home. 
Mr. Patterson called on him to procure an exchange for 
Captain Dawson, McNeil'a reply was, 

"No, I am going to fence this county with fire." 

The next day there was a drizzling rain and nearly all 
day Wednesday there was a steady, but not very heavy, 
downpour. We were camped the whole day in the woods 
near a farm house. In the afternoon I called to see Colonel 
Porter, but neither he nor any other officer waa in. Captain 
Dawson, his guard and one or two loungers were the occu- 
pants of the room. I took a seat on the captain's bench and 
about three feet from him, and engaged in small talk with 
the boys. Captain Dawson was as gloomy looking and as 
taciturn as he had been since his capture. After I had been 
sitting there nearly an hour I became conscious that he was 
scanning my face. Presently he asked in a low tone, in 
which he could not quite conceal his intense feeling, 

"What are they going to do with me?" 

"Going to parole you in a day or two." 

"Will they?" and in spite of himself he manifeeted an 
increased interest. 

"Yes; heard Colonel Porter say so. What did you think 
we were going to do to you ?" 

"I didn't know." 

He relapsed into silence and did his best to maintain his 
appearance of stolid indifference, but I could plainly see 
that a load had been lifted from his heart. His silence didn't 
last over five minutes and he began an extended, and what 
I thought a very pleasant, conversation by asking my name. 
When I told him he said there were Mudds in Scotland 
County — -very respectable people — but they were all Union 
men. 

"I have heard of them, but I never saw any of them. I 
was never in Scotland County before last Sunday and I 
suppose you were not overmuch pleased to see me, or rather, 



PAROLING OF CAPTAIN DAWSON 81 

118, then," — he enjoyed the joke more than I expected. 
"They are from Kentucky while my family is from Mary- 
land, whence the Kentucky families emigrated seventy-five 
years ago. There are several Kentucky families of my 
name in Lincoln County but only one is Union." 

I said this to show a friendly feeling more than anything 
else and my willingness to talk seemed to please him. His 
personality as revealed in our talk was much more agreeable 
than I had supposed. I felt that he had been unjustly 
represented to Colonel Porter. Before I left him I assured 
him he need have no fear concerning his treatment by 
Colonel Porter. 

It is my recollection that Captain Dawson was paroled 
on Thursday afternoon, July 17. Of all the comrades in 
commimication with me, two or three say either Thursday 
afternoon or Friday morning, but the great majority say, 
unhesitatingly, Thursday afternoon. 



<C) 



CHAPTER VIII 
THE BATTLE OF VASSAR HILL 

When we were ready to ride out of camp about the middle 
of the forenoon of Friday, July 18, Colonel Porter directed 
a close order to the companies and, sitting on his horse in 
easy hearing of every man, told us the Federals were follow- 
ing us. He did not know their strength, but he would know 
inside of -an hour. If they push lis too closely and they 
don't outnumber us more than five to one we shall try their 
mettle. "I am not going to fight," he continued, "without 
choosing the ground, and what I wish you particularly to 
understand is that I am not going to risk the life of one of 
you uselessly. I'd run to death every horse in the command 
rather than lose one man. I can get all the horses I want; 
I cannot get all the men I want." He then began an appeal 
to the patriotism, the courage and the fortitude of the men. 
His harangue was short — ^but I think I never before heard 
such eloquence. It was the eloquence of intense earnest- 
ness for duty, for love of country, of home, of the great 
State that gave us birth, of its institutions and its traditions. 
It stirred the hearts of his hearers as they were never stirred 
before. There was no demonstration, no applause; the men 
silently filed down the road in the order assigned for the 
march, but every one felt that he could follow his leader 
and that his leader could go anywhere. 

The march was fairly rapid. Colonel Porter must have 
obtained satisfactory information within five or six miles 
after leaving camp. At the bridge over the Fabius Creek, 
which crossed the road in a heavily wooded locality, a guard 
was left to tole the Federals in. They were directed to 



THE BATTLE OF VASSAB HILL 83 

make believe they were trying to tear up the bridge and 
then to fly down the road as if the furies were after them. 
We went about two, or perhaps two and a half, miles farther, 
crossing a mile or so of bottom land with little timber and 
into the dense woods on the hill. We found an ideal spot 
for our horses, hitched them, left a sufficient guard and 
came back to where thick bushes skirted the road's edge. 
I was, I think, the end man on the right. We were in- 
structed to lie down and keep so quiet that our volley would 
be the first danger signal to the Federal advance. We on 
the extreme right were to fire the first shot as soon as the 
head of the advance column reached our front and imme- 
diate firing was to run down our line to the left as far 
as necessary. The program was carried out to the letter. 
I was so fatigued that I asked Ben Vansel to rouse me in 
time should I fall asleep. It didn't seem very long before 
I was awakened by the sound of firing down the road whence 
we had come. 

Our rear guard dashed by and on to where a sentry had 
been stationed a third of a mile beyond our position to guide 
to our corral and, after hitching horses, to our line. Less 
than a minute later, it seemed, the Federal advance guard 
galloped into sight. When the foremost men reached our 
spot our guns gave the signal and the others down the line, 
ready since the enemy came in sight, responded so quickly 
that the firing seemed done at one command. The surprised 
guard melted away under our fire. Muskets and double 
barrel shot guns are dreadful weapons in the hands of men 
who know how to shoot, and the distance was only ten feet. 
The History of Shelby County says, page Y44: "Out of 
twenty-one men of his advance guard all but one were 
killed or wounded." This is not quite correct Three men 
at the head of the guard were left in their saddles. They 
halted momentarily at our fire; the leader — a handsome 
young fellow, who I latelv learned was Sergeant Edward P. 



84 WITE POETER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Kelsey, now living in Jersey City — gave i:is a searching look 
and, without a word or command, drove spur and with his 
two comrades went flying down the road away from the 
main body. In the safety zone they found a dim road 
which led them out of our range back to their command. 

The word was now passed along for us to noiselessly 
change our position to a new one with same relation to the 
road and half a mile northward where we could again strike 
the enemy unawares. The same instructions as to firing 
were given and we were directed to string out the line so 
that in single file the men would be from six to ten feet 
apart. The first volley was, as before, to be delivered on 
signal, but all subsequent firing was to be done only by 
order. We did not go the expected distance and conse- 
quently the second surprise was not equal to the first; but 
the new position was an ideal one, as it enabled us to give 
the attacking force a much exaggerated idea of our strength. 

While we were shifting our position a man came out of 
the wood from our left and began telling the three or four 
who gathered around him of an exciting adventure. I 
learned that his name was Durkee. I had seen him on 
the march riding a fine dapple gray mare. He and an io- 
separable companion whose name I have forgotten were 
the most notable men of the whole command; six feet or 
more, perfect form, classic features, refined in manner and 
conversation. Durkee was genial and companionable; his 
friend was retiring and taciturn almost to melancholy. 
They were members of Captain Caldwell's company. Dur^ 
kee was on the rear guard to tole the enemy in. His mare 
was severely wounded, became obstinate and refused to move. 
With bit and spur he managed to get her to the edge of 
the road where he was made the target of the enemy's 
advance guard. 

Captain James E. Mason, commanding Company I, Mer- 
rill Horse, now living at Athens, Michigan, writes me : "I 



TEE BATTLE OF VA88AR HILL 85 

remember I -was in the advance guard. We come on to 
Porter's rear guard and charged them as they were about 
to tear up the bridge. We did not wait for the main com- 
mand to come up, but charged them after they left the 
.bridge. I remember seeing the man on the gray horse. 
Several of the boys fired at him; I was about to fire at him 
when he threw up his hands and cried, 'Don't shoot, I sur- 
render.' I passed on, leaving him for those in the rear 
to take care of, but I learned afterwards that he made into 
the brush and escaped." 

We had scarcely taken our new position before we de- 
livered another volley with some effect into the advance led 
by Captain Mason. He says: "When we were fired upon 
at the angle of the road Stillson's horse fell on him and he 
was taken prisoner. My horse was hit at the same time 
in the jaw and, becoming unmanageable, ran into the woods 
to the left. I returned to the command in time to partici- 
pate in the several charges that we made to dislodge your 
command after our main command came up. With Rogers' 
command we had, if I remember correctly, about three 
hundred men. Our estimate of your number was about 
seven hundred." 

The battle was on now in earnest. The enemy made 
charge after charge with a persistency and a pluck that was 
surprising to us. After each repulse they gave us, at about 
one hundred yards distance, a furious fire from their car- 
bines, but as, under orders, we immediately dropped to the 
ground after each charge the bullets rattled and snipped the 
twigs four of five feet above us. We did not respond to 
these volleys. We had always to be economical with our 
ammunition. Colonel Porter had laid particular stress upon 
his order not to fire, excepting our first two volleys, which 
were done on signal, until he gave the command. He only 
gave the command to fire" when the Federals were right on 
us. The order was minutely obeyed with one exception. 



86 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

One of our boys, down the line out of my sight, losing his 
head, fired too soon and, when the Federal was about to ride 
him down, had an empty gun in his hand. This he clubbed 
and striking his assailant a powerful blow on the neck, 
killed him. 

If ot one of our company was touched, and from our position 
I could see none of our men killed or wounded. Near the 
close of the action Captain 'Stacy, whose company was sta- 
tioned farther down our left, passed along the road in our 
front and in a few minutes passed back. I saw that he was 
wounded in the breast and I thought I could see that he was 
done for. 

Comrade W. S. Griffith, of Butler, Missouri, who was shot 
in the thigh during the enemy's fourth charge and was thought 
to be mortally wounded, as the hemorrhage, so profuse that 
it caused him to faint four times, was ascribed to the severing 
of the femoral artery, writes: "Captain Stacy's wound was 
three-fourths of an inch from the left nipple. When he was 
shot he had a hand spike in hand prying a dead horse off the 
leg of a Federal who was be^ng us to roll the horse off him. 
He and I lay on the same pallet until we started. He told 
me we had to die, as the doctor said we could not be saved. T 
knew but little of the battle after I was shot. When we got 
ready to start Dr. Marshall and another man helped me on 
a horse, leaving Stacy still on the pallet They rode on either 
side of me, holding me on until we reached the Fabius River, 
which we swam. I was then laid in a wagon and hauled all 
night to near Sharpsburg, in Marion County. Here my 
brother took charge of me. My father and mother met him 
and they hid me in the woods for weeks. I was attended by 
Dr. Rhodes, of Warren, who died twenty-five years ago, and 
who had fifteen years ago, and now, maybe, a son practicing 
medicine in Warren. Stacy was raised in Miller township. 
Marion County, near Hannibal. He left a wife, who was 
a Miss Sparks, and two small children. The Sparks who was 



THE BATTLE OF 7A88AR HILL 87 

killed in the battle was no kin to Mrs. Stacy. We had twenty 
men in our company. We had no lieutenant, as we wanted 
to get enough men for a full company first, but I heard that 
William Hilleary acted as captain after Stacy's death. He 
lived near Warren, Marion County." Sam GriflBth was a 
good soldier in the days when good soldiers were needed, and 
he is a good man today. 

In one of the intervals between the charges of the enemy 
a Federal soldier was heard piteously crying for water. Frank 
McAtee had a canteen with a little water in it, and he went 
•in the direction of the voice, followed by Sam Minor. They 
found the man, carried him to the shade of a tree, and Frank 
gave him his last drop of water. The grateful enemy asked 
them to relieve him of his jacket. They were about to comply 
when the bugle sounded another charge. Hastily turning 
the man on his side, they split the jacket from neck to tail 
and made tracks for their places in line. Just before our 
last volley Andrew Nolan and Sam Minor each picked a Fed- 
eral soldier to shoot. When they fired both Federals fell. 
That night when cartridges were drawn Sam found two in his 
musket, showing that he did not fire at the enemy in the last 
volley, as he supposed. He says he is glad that he does not 
know that he ever killed a man. 

There is some difference of opinion as to the number of 
times the Merrill Horse charged us. According to the best 
information I can get from the survivors who fought on either 
side it was seven times, and my own recollection is that it 
was not less than tliat number. Some little time after the last 
charge their bugler sounded "rally" loud and long. I remem- 
ber wondering to myself if they would ever get enough. I was 
willing that they should feel that they had enough. Suppose 
in the charge they were about to make they should discover 
our weakness in numbers ? If so, there would be a hot time 
and a bad quarter of an hour for us. The ludicrous side of it 



88 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

came up and I must have smiled. Ben Vansel sharply 
accosted me. 

"Mudd, what are you laughing at ?" 

"Am I laughing ? Well, not very heartily. I was think- 
ing. Ben, hear that bugle sounding 'rally?' They must 
be coming again, and as they are so much longer about it 
than heretofore, they are going to make this the most des- 
perate charge of all. Suppose they were to find out how 
few men we have, wouldn't there be fun ? — not for us. Ben, 
I'm not slow of foot and I have the swiftest horse in the 
conunand. You know what that means Vhen it becomes 
necessary to get away." 

But the Federals had enough. After a little while we 
advanced one or two hundred yards and waited a half or 
three-quarters of an hour. Finding there would be no 
further attack we retraced our steps over the battlefield, 
picked up a number of sabers and revolvers, released Still- 
son from his uncomfortable position, holding him as a pris- 
oner, attended to our two severely woimded men, and made 
for our horses to continue our march. We had in this en- 
gagement one hundred and twenty-five men. The History 
of Scotland County, page 534, says our "loss was two dead, 
Frank Peake and a man named Sparks, and Captain Stacy 
was wounded and died at Bible Grove two days after the 
battle." This information was given to the historian by 
Mr. William Purvis, who then lived and yet lives three- 
fourths of a mile southwest of the ground and was there 
the next day. It is correct aa far as it goes. In addition 
to this statement, Sam Griffith was severely wounded — 
thought then to be mortally — Lucian B. Durkee had three 
or four slight wounds, received while toling the enemy in, 
and two or three others received wounds too slight to inter^ 
fere with duty. Sparks was a boy seventeen years old. He 
was shot in the forehead and died in his father's arms. 



THE BATTLE' OF VA8SAR HILL 89 

Major Clopper's official report as given in The War of 
the Eebellion, series I, volume 13, page 163, is: 

Oamp Near Pieece's Mill, July 19, 1862. 

SiE : I beg leave to report that yesterday I encountered 
Porter's forces conjoined with Dunn's, at 12 m., and fought 
and routed them after a desperate and severe fight of sev- 
eral hours. They had an ambush well planned and drew my 
advance guard into it, in which my men suffered severely. 
My killed and wounded amounted to eighty-three men, 
forty-five of which belonged to my battalion, Merrill Horse; 
tlie balance, thirty-eight, to Major Kogers' battalion. 
Eleventh Missouri State Militia. Among the wounded of 
my ofiicers are Captain Harker, slightly; Lieutenant 
Gregory, Lieutenant Potter and lieutenant Robinson. I 
cannot find adequate terms to express the heroic manner 
in which my command stood the galling and destructive 
fire poured upon them by the concealed assassins. 

I have not time to make an official or detailed report of 
the action; but will do so upon the first favorable oppor- 
tunity. Colonel McNeil joined me last night with sixty- 
seven men. The enemy's is variously estimated at from 
four hundred to six hundred men. Have now halted for 
the purpose of burying the dead and taking care of the 
sick. Will pursue the enemy at 11 a. m. this date. 
They are whipped and in full flight. The forced marches 
I have been compelled to make and the bad condi- 
tion of the roads and constant rainy weather have had the 
effect of exhausting my horses and men. 

The enemy were well concealed in dense underbrush and 
I must give them credit for fighting well. They will not 
meet me on fair ground. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

John Y. Clopper, 
Major Commanding Battalion Merrill Horse. 

Lewis Meeeill, 
Colonel Comdg. Saint Louis Division, Saint Louis, Mo. 



90 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"Porter's forces, conjoined with. Dunn's," is a good one. 
We could with equal propriety say we fought "Clopper's 
forces, conjoined with Mason's." If Major Clopper ever 
made the promised detailed report it has never come to 
light ; nor has any report from Major Rogers. Possibly the 
reason why Major Clopper omitted to state our securing a 
prisoner after the battle was over was that it wouldn't look 
well beside "fought and routed them." Still, considering 
the "temper of the times," it was a very fair report. 

Mr. T). G. Harrington, a prominent ranchman of Bennett, 
Colorado, then a sergeant in Company H, Merrill Horse, 
writes: "About the 17th or 18th of July we were joined 
by another battalion and left Sand Mill or Sand Hill with 
over five hundred and fifty men after Porter and 
Poindexter and fought them a few miles from Memphis, 
where we lost something like thirteen killed and twepty- 
nine wounded. Estimated loss of the enemy, thirty-seven 
killed and forty-three wounded." Mr. Harrington gives a 
very interesting account of his battalion of Merrill Horse 
in Missouri, but a part of it has no relation to our command. 

Captain Gk orge H. Rowell, of Battle Creek, Michigan, his- 
torian of his battalion, to whom I am indebted for a full and, 
according to my recollection, very accurate account of so much 
of Merrill Horse history as relates to this narrative and also 
for his great patience in helping to straighten out the kinks 
in the rr collections of both of us, writes : "You ask for a full 
report of the doings of our grand old regiment during that 
memorable campaign. This is hard to give, as the regiment 
was divided into several detachments when the order was given 
to take the field against Porter ; one detachment at Columbia, 
which was the headquarters of the regiment; another, Com- 
pauips H and C, under command of Major John Y. Clopper ; 
another at Glasgow, under command of Major O. B. Hunt, 
and another at Fayette, under command of Captain James E. 
Mason. The regiment was composed of troops from difFerent 



THE BATTLE OF VASSAR HILL 91 

States: Ck>mpaiiie& H and I from Battle Creek, Michigan; 
A and B from Michigan and St. Louis; C, G and K from 
Cincinnati, and D. E and F from North Missouri. Two 
companies were afterwards joined, but not until after the 
Porter campaign. Major Clopper's command was stationed 
at Sturgeon, on the North Missouri Railroad, and when the 
order was given to take the field against Porter the Fayette 
detachment was ordered to Olopper, and with four companies 
strong we took the field. I had just been promoted from sec- 
ond to first lieutenant, First Sergeant Jasper L. Gregory 
succeeding me as second. The command of the company 
devolved upon me, as the captain was absent, sick. On the 
18th of July we encountered the enemy a few miles from the 
village of Memphis. We had been reinforced by a company 
of State militia, but the Merrill Horse engaged were three 
companies, C, H and I, with possibly a few belonging to 
Company A. About two and a half miles from where we 
encountered the enemy in force and in ambush we came to 
the forks of the road, and, not knowing where the enemy were, 
Clopper divided his command, sending me to the right with 
my company and six citizen guides, while he himself with the 
major part of his command took the left-hand fork. The road 
was densely wooded for a mile or more, but when coming to a 
small stream we found a few scouts from the enemy standing 
on the bridge, which were immediately charged by my advance 
guard, and a regular steeplechase ensued over the fourth of 
a mile or more of bottom land, destitute of timber, between 
stream and wooded hills beyond, where the enemy lay in 
ambush waiting and hoping for our destruction. My advance 
were already in the woods engaged with the enemy and had 
suffered some casualties, and Edward D. Stillson was cap- 
tured. Ascertaining the position of the enemy in the thick 
bush, I at once charged him mounted with the fuU company, 
but could not dislodge him ; charged him once more mounted, 
and in retiring determined to dismount the company and fight 



92 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

as infantry. At this juncture Major Cloppef came up with 
his command and, seeing where the enemy were, ordered me 
to wheel and charge again, but I, imderstanding the diffi- 
culties, said, 'Major, for God's sake don't order these mounted 
companies in there again ; it will be nothing but slaughter in 
the thick brush.' His only answer was, 'Wheel about and 
charge!' which T did, he, Clopper, ordering two other com- 
panies which had come up with him to charge with me, also 
the company of militia beforementioned. The result was a 
slaughter. Killed in Company H, Edward Funnel! and 
Miles R. Sherman; severely wounded. Second Lieutenant 
Jasper L. Gregory, First Sergeant Edward P. Kelsey, Oor- 
poral Joseph C. Lewis, Privates Adelbert Monroe, James H. 
Harper and some others slightly. Killed in Company I, Pri- 
vates Walker and Hines; wounded, First Lieutenant John 
"Robinson, First Sergeant Lucian B. Potter and several others 
whose names I do not remember. Several killed and wounded 
in other companies of the command, including those from the 
company of State militia. Our killed and wounded in the 
Merrill Horse, about forty; don't know the number in the 
militia. It was a drawn battle, the enemy hastily leaving the 
field as soon as the opportunity ofFered. I should judge the 
fight lasted about two hours, and closed about four o'clock in 
the afternoon." 

Captain Rowell's statement coincides very nearly with my 
recollection. From his point of view it is as near the truth 
as is possible after so many years. He says he kept no diary 
and that his memory at the age of seventy-eeven is defec- 
tive, but evidently his memory is defective only about recent 
events — an infirmity which annoys all the relics of those 
stirring days. He gives the effective force under Major 
Clopper as two hundred and eighty men, which I am satis- 
fied is a very fair estimate. He underestimated the numeri- 
cal strength of Major Rogers' battalion, which he calls a 



THE BATTLE OF VA8SAR HILL 93 

company, and there is something strange about his opinion 
of it. He says: "I feel that neither you nor I know ac- 
curately about its numbers. It is but little consequence any- 
how; the Merrill Horse did the fighting except one volley 
fired by this militia company. I was close to this company 
when they formed in line in front of your ambush and I am 
positive they would not have numbered over fifty, and would 
swear my impressions were a less number. To me that 
militia company is a good deal of a myth. . They appeared 
on the scene that morning for the first time; they made one 
appearance during the fight and then vanished into nothing- 
ness. I never heard of them before or after." 

Major Rogers dismounted his battalion. I did not catch 
sight of his men during the action, they being too far to 
the left of my station to be seen through the thick brush. 
In talking with the boys who faced the infantry, as we called 
them, I found that they had a very contemptuous opinion 
of their opponents and if I remember correctly — and the 
scant notes I made shortly after the affair bear me out — 
two volleys, if not one, sufficed for them. I cannot account 
for the fact that our boys and a competent Federal officer 
should have the same identical opinion concerning this bat- 
talion, except as to numerical strength and both be wrong. 
When I began collecting material for this work and came 
across Major Clapper's official report I was astonished to 
find that he gave Major Rogers' loss as thirty-eight and his 
own only forty-five. The testimony of those living near the 
battlefield confirms the correctness of this total. Be it as 
it may. Captain Rowell is right when he says Merrill Horse 
did the fighting. The others were not a factor in the en- 
gagement Lieutenant Gregory corroborates Captain 
RoweU's statement. He had been on picket duty all Thurs- 
day night and instead of breakfast next morning he spent an 
hour in sleep. In his dreams he saw a battle brought about 



94 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

in which he received a severe but not fatal w^ound.* He 
says that at a house opposite the mill — ^he being with the 
advance — a boy cried out, "Hurry up, they are going to 
hang father." It is very probable that the boy was acting 
under our instructions. We didn't scruple using such 
means to deceive, and didn't believe it any harm to mislead 
the enemy at every turn. At the overtaking of Durkee 
and when the latter offered to surrender, "Kelsey," the lieu- 
tenant writes, "said, 'We take no prisoners,' and attempted 
to shoot him, but his revolver wouldn't go and the man slid 
off his horse and got into the woods." If this remark was 
made by Kelsey — and Durkee said a remark of this kind 
was made — ^it was made by Sergeant Kelsey, who died at 
Lansing some years ago, and not by Sergeant Edward P. 
Kelsey, now of Jersey City, because the latter led the ad- 
vance guard and had passed Durkee before he offered to sur- 
render. 

Sergeant William Bouton, now of St. Louis, who has given 
me much valued information, writes: "A little of the story 
of the fight as I saw it; I carried the guidon on that day — a 
most useless office. A guidon is useless in bushwhacking or 
guerrilla fighting. The advance guard of about ten men was 
led by Sergeant E. P. Kelsey. E. D. Stillson, who was 
taken prisoner, and Ed. Funnell, who was killed, were in the 
advance. More damage was done in that first volley to otir 
company than by all the rest, and our company suffered more 
than any other on that account. When your picket was driven 



>Buch dreams 'nere common dnrlng the war. In tbe fltfnl slumber 
between the hours of sentry dnty the night before the battle of 
Wilson's Creek I dreamed that the enemy poured upon us at sunrise 
and In the bloody battle that followed I received a minle ball In the 
center of my forehead. I am the least superstitious person in the 
world and from my infancy have been a hardened Infldel as to unlucky 
days, events and signs, but In spite of every eftort I could not shake off 
the Impression. The first part of my dream came true; that was a 
coincidence. Would the second part also prove to be a coincidence? Not 
necessarily, I reasoned. Every man near me was shot down and that, I 
reasoned, lessened my chances of being shot, but for two hours or more 
in the riot of carnage that spot in my forehead actually pained me. 
After a while the bullet came, but it split the sole of my shoe and the 
pain in my forehead wore away. 



THE BATTLE OF VA8SAB HILL 95 

in and the advance rushed headlong after them, the company 
followed at a trot. When we had crossed the causeway and 
reached the little log house on the left of the road both sections 
of the advance met. We moved up the road at a walk mounted. 
When the head of the column drew your fire there was a halt. 
About a dozen men in front dismounted without orders, took 
cover as best they could, where they could see something, and 
used their carbines in a way that compelled my admiration, as 
it did yours. You can credit that less than a dozen men — 
for part had to hold horses^ — ^with all the effective shooting that 
came from our side. I was at the middle of the company, had 
that guidon to hold, and could see nothing. Some of your 
bullets made fine music, and one came near enough so that 1 
felt its breath. Company I came up soon in column of fours. 
The lieutenant in command, who had been a sergeant in the 
regular army, led them alongside of us in the small brush at 
the left of the road, I am sorry I cannot recall his name, for 
he was a good fellow and got wounded at the head of his 
company." [Second Lieutenant Lucien B. Potter was the 
only wounded commissioned officer in Company I.] "Other 
companies came up one at a time. One company attempted 
to pass farther to the left, among the tall brush, but it was 
too thick for them to keep in ranks and they fell into disorder. 
At last came our gallant major. He had not sweated his 
horse trying to be first at the fight. Soon his bugler sounded 
'recall' and we fell back to the little log house. I was near 
enough to a group of officers discussing plans to hear the 
lieutenant of Company I beg the major to dismount his men 
and enter the brush before he got to your position ; advance, 
creep, if necessary, and give his men some chance to fight. 
He would not take the advice. He had a plan of his own. 
He formed us in column and marched us slowly down that 
hill (no reb could make him run). 'Right turn!' along the 
edge of the marsh. 'Fours left wheel!' 'Halt!' 'Front!' 
and we sat there with our backs to the brush and our faces to 



96 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

the open marsh in that sunny afternoon. By and by some 
stragglers came — there will always be stragglers from the 
best of troops — and told us that the rebs had gone. Then 
I was part of a detail sent over the ground to see if there 
were any wounded or any dead stiU there, or any property 
which we could bring off. I knew a good deal more of the 
character of the ground then than I had learned before. There 
was one butternut shot through the back whom Porter had 
failed to take along." 

In a later letter Captain Rowell says: "We retired lei- 
surely from the wooded eminence to the bottom lands. This 
was done to collect our forces, which were much scattered, and 
it was here that the 'rally' was sounded to call our forces 
together. It was while congregated in the bottoms referred to 
that our outposts reported that the enemy had left. I do not 
think that either hostile force was anxious to renew the 
engagement ; I know that we were not, and from the alacrity 
with which you mounted and left the field without bidding us 
good-by I infer you were of the same opinion." 

The History of Scotland County, which is generally very 
unfair to the Confederate side, says, page 520: "In this 
engagement there were eighteen Union soldiers killed out- 
right, and five died within a few days from the effects of 
their wounds, making twenty-three in all, and all these were 
buried on the Maggard place, near where they fell. Some 
of them were disinterred and moved away by their friends, 
and the balance, thirteen in number, were afterwards taken 
up by order of the Government and interred in the National 
Cemetery at Keokuk, Iowa. * * * * xhe Confed- 
erate loss was small, as they fought on the defensive from 
a concealed position, and fled as soon as they were likely to 
be driven out into an open field fight. The discrepancy 
between the estimates of the strength of Porter's forces, 
as made by the neighbors in the vicinity of the fight, is 
somewhat amusing. The estimate of the Union svmpa- 



THE BATTLE OF VA88AR HILL 97 

thizers is that given in the foregoing report (Major Clop- 
per's), while the friends of Porter estimate his strength at 
less than one hundred and fifty men. But the writer is 
satisfied that the persons making this low estimate did not 
see Dunn's command at all. The Unionists lost thirteen 
horses killed, and a few others that were wounded and ran 
away, while the rehels had only two horses killed. William 
Purvis, who removed the dead horses from the field the 
day after the battle, relates that thirteen days after the fight 
he found a horse belonging to one of the Union soldiers, in 
a deep ravine near by. The horse was reined up and was 
'as poor aa a skeleton,' having had nothing on which to sub- 
sist during that time, but the leaves of the trees and the 
moisture caused by the dews. He took the horse to 
Memphis, and the letters which he foimd in the saddle bags 
enabled him to find the owner who was among the wounded 
then at the hospital at that place." 

As for the likelihood of being "driven out into an open 
field fight," there never was the slightest danger of that and 
besides there was no open field .as far as we could see in our 
rear, and we had no intention of being driven forward to- 
ward the enemy where there was an open field. Under 
the circumstances it was better for us to wait, and we waited. 
The idea of anybody estimating our strength by seeing us 
and not seeing "Dunn's command at all," is ridiculous. My 
relations with Colonel Porter were such that I knew exactly 
how many men we had all the time. We had a hundred 
and twenty-five men in this engagement and I am positive 
that this figure wiU not miss the number actually engaged 
over two either way. 

The History of Shelby County, page 744, says : "The 
Federals — Merrill Horse — charged repeatedly, without 
avail, and if Rogers had not come up when he did, with 
the Eleventh, which he dismounted and put into the brush, 
they would have been driven from the field. As it was, 

(7) 



98 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Porter retreated. The Federal loss in this engagement was 
not far from thirty killed and mortally woimded, and per- 
haps seventy-five severely and slightly wounded. Merrill 
Horse lost ten men killed and four officers and thirty-one 
men wounded. The Eleventh Missouri State Militia lost 
fourteen killed and twenty-four wounded. Among the 
killed was a Mr. Shelton, of PalmjTa, and Captain Sells, 
of Newark, was badly woimded. Porter's loss was six killed, 
three mortally wounded, and ten wounded left on the field. 
Among the mortally woimded was Captain Tom Stacy, who 
died a few days afterwards. His wound was through the 
bowels, and he suffered intensely. He was taken to a house 
not far away and visited by some of the Federal soldiery, 
who did not abuse him or mistreat him. His wife and 
family lived in this county at the time. His vsridow, now a 
Mrs. Saunders, resides in the western part of the county. 
After the fight at Pierce's Mill, Colonel Porter moved west- 
ward a few miles, thence south through Paulville, in the 
eastern part of Adair County; thence southeast into EJaox 
County, passing through Novelty, four miles east of Locust 
Hill, at noon on Saturday, July 19, having fought a battle 
and made a march of sixty-five miles in less than twenty-four 
hours! Many of his men were from Marion. County, and 
some of them are yet alive who retain vivid remembrances of 
this almost unprecedented eixperience. It must be borne in 
mind, too, that for nearly a week previously it had rained 
almost constantly." 

The Eleventh Missouri State Militia was partly recruited 
in Shelby County, and John F. Benjamin, one of its majors, 
was a resident of Shelbyville. We had only two men kiUed, 
one mortally wounded, and we took every wounded man from 
the field. 

The Missouri Democrat of July 25, under several heavy 
headlines, one of which is "The Rebels Routed and Scat- 
tered," says: "On the 18th inst. Major John Y. Clopprar, 



THE BATTLE OF VA88AB HILL 99 

in command of a detachment of Merrill Horse, about three 
himdred strong, and a detachment of Major Rc^ers's bat- 
talion, Eleventh Missouri State Militia, about one hundred 
strong, attacked and after a very severe fight entirely routed 
Porter and Dunn's combined bands of guerrillas, six hundred 
strong. The fight took place near Memphis, and was brought 
on by a small advance guard being fired upon by the enemy, 
who were concealed in a heavy brush and timber across the 
road, where they had halted and chosen the ground for their 
fight. They were immediately attacked by Major Clopper, 
and after a desperate conflict were completely driven from 
the field, leaving a large number of their dead and wounded 
on the ground. The severity of the fight is well illustrated by 
the fact that five successive charges across the open ground 
on the concealed enemy were repulsed and the sixth, resulting 
in a hand to hand struggle, in which one man of the Merrill 
Horse was kiUed by a blow with the stock of a musket across 
the back of the neck, breaking his neck. At the time the 
messenger left the ground all of our killed and wounded and 
missing had been found, amounting to eighty-three, and 
twenty-seven dead guerrillas had been discovered upon the 
field, yet the search among the thick brush for the dead and 
the wounded of the enemy had just commenced." 

Major Clopper was, I think, generally considered by his 
superiors to be a good officer. General Schofield, in a dis- 
patch to Mc]!^eil, dated July 11, says: "Major Clopper, of 
Merrill Horse, with about 400 men, is ordered to cooperate 
with you. He will reach Macon City Monday night. He is 
a fine officer and has an excellent battalion. He must not 
be trammeled by being placed under command of an incom- 
petent officer. If you think it desirable to increase his force, 
send a battalion of Colonel Lipscomb's regiment, tmder com- 
mand of one of the majors. This, I think; would be the 
better course in any case." * 



'War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 13, page 467. 



100 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

In his general report of operations in Missouri from April 
10 to November 20, in speaking of a number of officers who 
"showed on numerous occasions gallant and officer-like quali- 
ties," General Schofield mentions Majors Clopper, Htint and 
Caldwell,! 

Notwithstanding this, Major Clopper made a botch of it 
at Vassar Hill. He sacrificed the lives of brave men to no 
purpose. Had he acted on the advice of Captain Kowell we 
would have mounted our horses earlier than we did. Desir- 
ing to know whether his subordinates held my view, I ad- 
dressed a number of them on the subject. Mr. D. G. Har- 
rington, who carries fifteen wounds and seven scars from lead 
for which I may have been responsible, and who cherishes no 
hard feelings and can shake the hand of him who wore the 
gray as well as of him who wore the blue — a sentiment that 
does him honor — ^thinks it unbecoming to criticize the ability 
of his officers. Sergeant Bouton says: "I was not in the 
confidence of Colonel Merrill and don't know what he tiiou^t 
of the major previous to the fight at Memphis. I don't know 
what sort of racket was worked by which his desirable absence 
was secured. I know he left us between the 28th of July and 
the 6th of August, and I did not hear that anybody cried. A 
printed muster roll of Company H, made during October or 
November, 1862, shows that his connection with the regi- 
mental staff had not been severed at that time. They began 
to muster in colored troops soon after that, but I never heard, 
until your first letter made the statement, that he ever became 
colonel of anything." Lieutenant Gregory says: "When 
Major Clopper ordered mounted men to charge in ambush 
I think he did not show good judgment." Captain Rowell 
says : "The general consensus of opinion in the regiment was 
that Clopper's management was bad, and that he uselessly 
sacrificed good men without understanding the position of the. 



'War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 13, page 14. 




BATTLE CREEK , MICH, 



BATTLE CREEK, MICH. 



OFFICERS OF MERRILL HORSE 



THE BATTLE OF VA88AR HILL 101 

enemy. We here understood that he died several years ago." 
One week after the battle of Vassar Hill Colonel Merrill 
sent the following to Major Clopper : "Effect a junction with 
Shaffer and attack them before they unite. Do not delay too 
much in the matter. Pay more attention to your advance 
guard; make them more watchful and keep them better in 
hand, so that they do not dash in on the moment unsupported. 
If you find the enemy in brush or thick timber dismount and 
fight them on foot. Artillery wotdd only cause enemy to 
scatter. I want them exterminated. Do not let your move- 
ment be too much delayed. If the enemy wants Eenick, let 
them have it. Don't put too much faith in stories of con- 
ductors or scared runaways." ^ 

I call this engagement the battle of Vassar Hill because 
it is commonly so called in Scotland County. The place 
has been called Vassar Hill since its first settlement by a 
manr named Vassar. Philip Purvis owned and occupied it 
at the time of the battle. Colonel Porter called it the 
battle of Oak Ridge and many of our boys know it by that 
name. This designation is appropriate but not distinctive 
or local. The Federals call it the battle of Pierce's Mill. 
The mill is about a mile and a half northwest of the battle 
field. The Jacob Maggard farm, where the Federal soldiers 
were buried, was a mile and a half northeast of the battle 
field. 



'War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 13, page 511. 



CHAPTER IX 
EDWARD D. STILLSON PRISONER 

The horses of our company were nearest the road. The 
prisoner was brought up, fumiBhed with a horse, and as I 
had already mounted, Colonel Porter directed that he be 
turned over to me. Telling him to follow me, I took a 
position on the road near the opening in the bushes through 
which the regiment would have to pass. Stillson was on 
my left. In the five minutes which elapsed before the head 
of the column came in sight I took a physical and mental 
inventory of the man : Anywhere from twenty-one to twenty- 
six years old; five feet, ten inches; one hundred and sevtnty- 
five pounds; full face, piercing but pleasant eyes, honest 
countenance, expression indicating force of character. 
Yank, if we are thrown together any length of time, we 
shall be friends and I am glad we've got you; your presence 
will be a divertissement in camp and on the march. When 
the regiment was riding in twos past \xa he was all attention. 
When the last man had passed I directed him to "fall in." 

He looked up in astonishment. 

"Are they all of you?" 

"All; that is," apparently correcting myself, "all that are 
with us today." 

"Great God ! How'd you come to whip us ?" 

"We always come to whip the Federals. It's a habit 
we've got into." 

"Do you know how many men we had ?" 

"No." 

"There are five hundred men in our battalion of Merrill 
Horse, and with us was a battalion of militia numbering I 



EDWARD D. 8TILL80N PRISONER 103 

think, about four hundred men. You haven't over a hun- 
dred and fifty." 

"Not that many. We had a hundred and twenty-five men 
in the battle and that is the number which we are now fol- 
lowing, our losses not quite equalling the number of camp 
guards. The remainder of our men — and we've s^ot a plenty 
to give your men all the trouble you want — are not with us 
just now, but we may join them in a day or two." 

I was sure that he over-estimated the number of his men, 
but I did not tell him so. In my younger days I delighted 
in nothing so much as teasing other people. I chafEed him 
unmercifully in reply to his every inquiry as to how we got 
the better of the fight and he seemed to be sorely puzzled. 
Presently he turned squarely on me; his earnest gaze 
aroused my sympathy and made me sorry for my levity. 

"Will you answer me an honest question?" 

"Yes." 

"Were you ever Tmder fire before ?" 

"Yes." 

"Well, I never was. I want to know if we didn't fight 
well?" 

"I know," said I, "exactly how you feel about it. My first 
battle was at Carthage, the fifth of July, last year. After it 
was over I was curious to know if it was really a battle. Our 
first lieutenant had served through the Mexican war. I 
asked him how it compared with the battles he had gone 
through and he said it was bigger than any fought by Taylor 
or Scott. Then I knew I had been in a battle. Now you 
wish to know if your men stood up to the racket. Well, let 
your mind be easy on that point. Your men fought well. 
Veterans would not have done any better; in fact, not always 
so well." 

"Well, how is it, then, that you whipped us?" 

"Because your commander is a fool." 

"I thought Major Clopper was a very good man." 



104 WITH PORTER IN NORTE MISSOURI 

"I didn't mean to say that he is a fool. I should not have 
used that term. What I meant is : He does not understand 
this business, and we do." 

He did not quite catch my meaning, but I gave no further 
explanation. I was heartily ashamed of myself for the 
word I used in speaking of his major and told him so. 

"Oh, I understand that," he said. "How many men did 
you lose?" 

"Two men killed; two men severely wounded, perhaps 
mortally; one or two slightly wounded." 

"That all?" 

"I think that's all. That's all I saw and I think I saw 
all our loss. Our company was in the thickest of it and we 
hadn't a man touched." 

"Did you know what our loss was ?" 

"No, but from what I saw of the field after your men left 
it I am sure it was heavy." 

"Really ? How many men do you think we lost ?" 

"I do not know." 

"Do you think we lost fifty?" 

"I should say you lost more than fifty. Possibly you 
had as many as fifty men killed. At any rate, I am sure 
your killed and wounded amounted to more than fifty." 

"I cannot account for it." 

I could. I was on the point of enlightening him when I 
saw the impropriety of giving information that might be 
used with advantage by the enemy. So I said: 

"Did you ever figure on the relative merit of quality and 
quantity ?" 

"I don't know what you are trying to get at." 

"Don't you acknowledge that one Southern soldier is equal 
to two Northern soldiers ?" 

"I do not. I should rather say that one Northern soldier 
is equal to two Southern soldiers." 

"Did you ever see it demonstrated, or hear of it ?" 



EDWARD D. 8TILLS0N PRISONER 105 

"No, but Northern men are better physically. This comes 
of their more bracing climate and their habits of life : Labor 
on the one side, leisure on the other." 

"That is a matter governed by facts of which I am in- 
clined to think that neither you nor I have a clear con- 
ception. If, naturally, the Northern soldier is better than 
the Southern soldier, or the Southern soldier is better than 
the Northern soldier, there must be a reason for it. I don't 
care to go into that discussion now, but the point I wish to 
make is that the more principle there is behind the soldier 
the better soldier he is, and here we have all the advantage. 
Again, we are defending our homes and our property; you 
are invading and despoiling." 

"I don't agree that you have the principle on your side. 
I contend that the principle is with us. The difference be- 
tween invasion and defence is so small that it is not worth 
considering." 

As I was only leading up to a question, I did not press the 
point. 

"Do you know," I said, "that the newspapers and the Fedh- 
eral commanders of districts in Missouri are responsible for 
the reckless manner in which the Confederates or, as you 
term them, the guerrillas and bushwhackers, fight ?" 

"In what way?". 

"By continually crying for blood, confiscation, the torch, 
no quarter for armed rebels, traitors, robbers, thieves, ma- 
rauders, murderers, assassins, cut-throats, sneaks, cowards. 
Is that line of policy calculated to make passionate men 
observe the rules of civilized warfare ? Did you ever hear 
of us paroling a prisoner?" 

"No, I never heard of your taking a prisoner before now." 

"Don't you know that we and every other body of rebel 
cut-throats always lose prisoners?" 

"No." 

"Don't you believe what the papers say of us?" 



106 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI ■ 

"There are a great many wild statements made, but I 
should hate to believe all of them are true." 

"What do you expect we'll do to you ?" 

"I'll answer that question plainly and honestly. When 
my dead horse pinned me to the ground I called upon our 
men to relieve me. I know they heard me but no one came. 
On second thought I didn't blame them. The rain of bul- 
lets was terrible." I was about to interrupt him here to say 
that the rain of bullets was terrible only from his side, which 
fired a hundred bullets to our one, that our bullets were 
fired not for moral but for physical effect, but I restrained 
myself. 

"In a slight lull in the firing the idea came to me to ask 
your men and I did. Presently a large man came with a 
stout stick. As he bent over me I got a good view of him. 
He seemed about thirty; had coarse black hair that hung over 
his shoulders, black mustache, coal-black eyes and rosy face. 
What I noticed particularly was a long black ostrich feather 
in his hat. His kind words of sympathy and musical voice 
strongly contrasted with his fierce look." 

"Do you know that that man has been denounced in the 
papers as the blood-thirstiest cut-throat and murderer in 
North Missouri, and that, as a matter of fact, his ready, un- 
erring revolver has carried terror into many a Federal 
squad?" 

"Who is he?" 

"Captain Stacy." 

"Well, I know he's one of the gentlest men I ever met, and 
I'm sure one of the bravest. "When he was trying to pry 
my horse up the storm of bullets was particularly furious. 
I don't see how it could have been greater, and yet he did 
not bat an eye. He made a great effort to lift my horse, but 
could not, and he dropped the stick and walked off. As he 
did not say anything in going, I thought he would come back 
but he did not." 



EDWARD D. STILL80N PRISONER 107 

"Possibly that was when he was shot." 

"Was he shot?" 

"Yes, and I'm afraid past recovery." 

"I'm sorry to hear that. Well, as I was saying, and in 
reply to your question, I was much impressed by his man- 
ner. Again, when we were waiting in the road for your men 
to pass I carefully scanned the countenance of every man. 
I may not be the best judge, but I said to myself these men 
are not murderers. I am willing to truist you; I am willing 
to trust every man I saw ride past me. You can't make 
me believe I am not safe in the hands of your men." 

In drawing this out of him I had no other motive than 
idle curiosity. I was not satisfied as to whether he was 
telling the truth or using diplomacy to make the best of 
what he thought a bad situation. I afterwards knew that 
he meant every word he said. 

At this point in our conversation the Middle Fabius was 
reached. It was a mile or two above the ford on the Memphis 
and Kirksville road. The stream here was perhaps ordi- 
narily f ordable, but now it was swollen by recent rains. It 
was narrow enough to be spanned by a fallen tree, over 
which Colonel Porter walked. Others, carrying our little 
stores of ammunition, walked over on the log. I noticed 
Frank McAtee with a large pair of saddle bags over his 
shoulder carrying full seventy-five pounds of ammunition. 
He was seventeen years old, small for his age, and the load 
seemed heavy for the ticklish passage, but Frank was active, 
sure of foot, and got over bravely. It was not safe to walk 
the log, and lead one's horse. When Stillson and I, bring- 
ing up the rear, came to the Fabius threei-fourths of the men 
were on the opposite shore and the stream was full of swim- 
ming horses and their riders and the remaiader were pre- 
paring for the plunge. The situation was of some interest 
to me. I had heard it said that some horses were incap- 
able of swimming. I knew that some men were, and I was 



108 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

one of them. I also knew that Charlie had never been in 
swimming water. I was ashamed to ask anybody to lead my 
horse while I walked the log, and besides the prisoner had 
to be looked after. There was no alternative, the trial had 
to be made. I found courage in the thought that Charlie 
had never failed me in anything, and he wouldn't be Charlie 
if he failed me now. And he did not. Stillson enjoyed the 
incident as much as anybody. The crossing was made with- 
out accident and with but little delay. Captain Tom Stacy 
had been left at Bible Grove, where he died two days later. 
Every wounded man, except Sam Griffith, was able to swim 
over unaided. Even with the help of two comrades it was 
a nervy thing for Sam to attempt, weak and faint as he was 
from loss of blood, but he had the necessary nerve and more. 

Our gait had been a moderate trot, but now we quickened 
it considerably in order to reach a suitable place for feed- 
ing before dark. It was half an hour to sunset when we 
drew up in an ideal spot for a meeting had the enemy been 
hot on our trail. The word was passed around that we 
should have a hard night's march and therefore horses must 
be unsaddled and well rubbed down; further, that a load of 
com would be in camp by sundown. 

The prisoner was assigned to two guards for the night 
as soon as the camp was reached. After the unsaddling 
about a dozen of us crowded around him. 

"Boys," said I, "this is Mr. Edward D. Stillson, of Battle 
Creek, Michigan, late of Company I, Merrill Horse, but now 
of Colonel Porter's regiment, Confederate States Army." 

"How do you do, Mr. Stillson ?" said Jim Lovelace, bowing 
low with mock gravity. "Welcome to Missouri. May you' 
never leave it. Hungry ? We'll have supper in a minute — 
maybe." 

Very few in the crowd were in the humor for jollying. 
Myself excepted, not one had ever before seen a Federal 
soldier made prisoner. They were hot and resentful over 



EDWARD D. 8TILLS0N PRISONER 109 

the vile epithets heaped upon us by the press and the soldiery 
and over the threats to hang us on the nearest tree or to 
shoot us down like dogs on capture and they proposed to tell 
this, prisoner what they thought of it. Half a dozen or more 
began, but that was a waste of words and all dropped out 
except the most forceful and fluent talker. 

"What did you want to come to Missouri for ? Did Mis- 
sourians ever interfere with the people of Michigan ? Why 
can't you let us alone ? There's not a county in the State 
which has not been a scene of murders, robberies, house- 
burning and other infamous crimes by the cowardly, blood- 
thirsty militia. Is it the purpose of your people to come 
here and continue the horrible work ?" 

After a little more on this line the speaker gave a ten 
minutes' analysis of the Southern view of what led to the 
war and of the present attitude of the two parties in the 
struggle. It was a fair presentation of facts, but was made 
with so much feeling th^t invective almost obscured argu- 
ment. Had it been an interesting discourse upon a non- 
irritating subject, Stillson could not have given it a more 
respectful attention. 

"Men," he replied, "I admit the justice of a good deal of 
what you say. But the points you make and which I admit 
cut but little figure iu the case as we view it. For the sake 
of argument I might admit much more and still the case as 
we view it would be but little affected. If as you say the 
North was more responsible for slavery than the South, 
ought I be deprived of my voice in the disposition of the 
issue as it exists now because my ancestors or the ancestors 
of my neighbor did wrong? But to put it more directly: 
If, ag you say, sentiment of the North is a menaxje to the 
institutions of the South and we are wrong in that, are 
we still wrong when, in an issue which overshadows that issue, 
which overshadows all issues, we stand for what we believe 
to be the best for us, the best for you, the best for the whole 



110 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

country? We are for the Union of all the States. The 
preservation of the Union is regarded as our highest duty 
and the only test of patriotism. It is worth all the sacrifice 
we can make. We are willing to give to it our last man and 
our laat dollar. It is not a war of conquest, it is not a war 
of hate, not a war of section against section; it is a war for 
the preservation of the Union. For the sake of peace we 
are willing to surrender everything but the Union, and we 
will never surrender that. You men make a grievous mis- 
take if you think the North will ever consent to the disrup- 
tion of the Union. This war can have only one ending; we 
have the men and the resources, and we are bound to win." 

I was then an intense partisan of the South; I am today. 
Stillson's words gave me an impression of the people of the 
North different from what I had before and they were the 
beginning of that change in sentiment that has made me 
equally a partisan of every section of this country. I be- 
lieve I was the only listener who noted what he said. The 
others seemed to note only how he said it. They only saw 
a manly man, earnest, sincere, respectful, yet yielding 
nothing. 

"Damn a man," said the ringleader, "who won't stand up 
for his own side. Yank, do you play cards ?" 

"Euchre is about the only game I play." 

"Who's got a deck?" 

Everybody but me, who was an indifferent player, made 
a rush to get in the game with the Yank. The ringleader 
with a series of vigorous but good-natured kicks and cuffs 
narrowed the list to the requisite three, appropriating to him- 
self the partnership with the Yank. One of the guards in- 
sisted that by virtue of his position he had the right to a 
hand in the game. 

"Get out;" said the ringleader, "you ain't a circumstance'." 

"If I can't play I'll take the prisoner over to the other 
end of the camp." 



EDWARD D. 8TILL80N PRISONER 111 

"Scat, you are notguard. Whoever heard of a guard 
without a gun?" 

"If Bill and I haven't got our guns, we are responsible 
for the prisoner." 

"Well, if you are responsible, you stand behind Henry 
and let Bill stand behind Jack and see that they don't cheat 
the Yank. And remember that the first duty of a Southern 
gentleman is hospitality; so after the game you go up to 
Captain Hickerson's restaurant and bring him a tenderloin 
steak cooked rare, with truffles and two bottles of claret — - 
don't forget the claret, the Yank is no Puritan I bet you — 
and if you can tote it bring me an extra bottle." 

The good nature of these remarks appeared to greatly 
amuse Stillson. In a moment, however, he became more 
sober and said: 

"Men, there is one more word that I want to say. You 
spoke of the behavior of the militia of this State. I know 
but little of your local conditions, but I should hang my 
head with shame if I ever heard of Michigan men being 
guilty of an inhuman act." 

"Put it thar," said the ringleader, affecting the backwoods 
pronunciation, and extending his hand. Stillson took it 
readily but winced with the severity of its grip. 

The game was a spirited one. The four men were well 
matched. Stillson made two or three adroit plays that gave 
him and the ringleader the first five points. 

"Two Confeds let a Yank beat 'em. Well, I'd sneak out 
of sight if a Yank beat me at anything — even running. 
Boys, suppose the Yank was as slick with his gun as he is 
with his cards, wouldn't he be an ugly customer?" 

The word to saddle horses was passed along. 

"Yank," said the ringleader, "I am sorry to break up this 
pleasant game. I don't know when I had a better one." 

"I have enjoyed it, myself, I assure you." 

"I say, Yank, can you ride a horse ?" 



112 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"Of course I can." 

"If I ask you that question tomorrow morning I'm not 
sure you will give me the same answer." 

"Why not?" 

"Because you are going to ride tonight as you never rode 
before." 

"Tonight?" 

"That's what I said. See any signs of camping ?" 

"No." 

"I say, Yank." 

"Well." 

"Had your breakfast ?" 

"Yes." 

"Had your dinner ?" 

"No." 

"Had your supper?" 

"No." 

"Think you'll get your breakfast tomorrow morning ?" 

"I hope so." 

"Say 'No' if you want to guess right." 

"What?" 

"Now, Yank, don't worry. I don't know when it wiU be, 
but you'll get the first bite that comes to this gang if I have 
to go hungry." 



CHAPTER X 
THAT FURIOUS RIDE 

The frsvilight Kad deepened perceptibly before we resumed 
the march. In half an hour the gait was struck which, 
with two interruptions of about ten minutes each for change 
ing guides, was maintained until sunrise — a rapid swinging 
trot. The darkness was impenetrable. KTo sound was heard 
except the monotonous, muffled stroke of the horses' feet 
upon the cushioned ground and the low but audible signals, 
at intervals, between the men of each company to prevent 
straggling. Stillson caught the spirit and in the same tone 
he would, when he thought it necessary, cry out, "Guards !" 
and the answer, from a few feet away, would be, "Here." 
After a suitable time it would be, "Yank! " "Here." 
These soimds were so weird that Tom Moore called out: 
"Whip-poor-will," and received a sharp reprimand from 
Captain Penny for the unnecessary noise. 

Major Clopper in his official report has as an excuse for 
not starting on our pursuit until near noon Saturday that 
"the forced marches I have been compelled to make and 
the bad condition of the roads and constant rainy weather 
have had the effect of exhausting my horses and men." 
The weather must have been kinder to us. The roads were 
in a fair condition for travel; soft enough to deaden the 
noise from the horses' feet and generally firm enough to 
maintain a good, easy footing. While our march was not 
"forced" by Major Clopper, we did not creep. I do not 
tl)ink it an exaggeration to say that with the exception of 
less than a dozen no better horses than ours could have been 
found anywhere. For ten years the hardy native horses 

(8) 



114 yflTE PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

had been improved by the best blood of Kentucky. And 
the men ? Well, they rode their own horses, they knew how 
to ride, they wasted few bullets and they laughed at fatigue 
and hunger. 

Colonel Switzler in his History of Missouri, page 413, 
eays we "retreated South, and in less than twenty-four hours 
were at Novelty, Knox County, sixty-four miles distant." 
On the same page, in speaking of the general features of the 
campaign, he says, "we come to the extraordinary pursuit of, 
and brilliant skirmishes and bloody fights with, the partisan 
bands of secessionists led by Colonel Jo. C Porter." 
Colonel Switzler was an estimable gentleman; from my first 
acquaintance with him, .in 1871, to the date of his death he 
was a valued friend, but the accuracy of his historical state- 
ments is impaired somewhat by the intensity of his sentiment 
during the war. 

This criticism has reference to his statement on the same 
page that we "were driven from ambush" at Pierce's Mill, 
and almost every statement about Colonel Porter's trans- 
actions. However, he was much fairer than the majority, 
and he always aimed to be fair. 

Whether we were near Novelty, sixty-four miles distant, 
or not I do not know, as it was impossible for us to tell 
whether we were going in a straight line or not, but we 
were without doubt making good time. Shortly after sun- 
rise guides were changed with but little time lost and 
scarcely a break in our gait. The word was passed down 
the line for the men to get what sleep they could by relays 
in each company, the sleepers to be watched to prevent 
unconscious drawing of the rein and consequent dropping out 
of ranks, and that there would be no halt during the day. 
And on we went. 

About an hour, or possibly two hours, before daybreak 
Sunday morning we left the road — ^we were only a few miles 
south or southeast of Newark — and went up a short but 



THAT FURIOUS RIDE 115 

rather steep incline into the thick bushes. Without unsad- 
dling we threw ourselves upon the ground and for an hour 
or two slept the sleep of the just In scaling the hill Davis 
Whiteside was forcibly dismounted by a grapevine, and 
when he arose, so dense was the darkness, he waa unable 
to find his horse. We went only a few yards further. At 
daylight Davis found the animal standing by the hanging 
vine. We were well on our way before sunrise; so that, 
except at Vassar Hill, there was practically no stop from 
daylight Friday until eight o'clock Sunday morning. We 
halted for three hours at a most suitable place for a rest or 
a fight — a point the colonel never overlooked. It was in 
the vicinity of Whaley's Mill and about three miles east of 
Colonel Porter's home. Here we had breakfast and a good 
feed for our horses. 

"Yank," said the ringleader to Stillson, "I haven't had 
the chance to talk with you for a couple of days. How are 
you, anyhow?" 

"All right, but tired." 

"Tired? Keally? What's the matter, been sick lately?" 

"Oh no, just a little tired." 

"Tired of what? Anybody been treating you bad?" 

"No, but it strikes me you've been moving since I've been 
with you." 

"Call that moving ? Well, if you stay with us many days 
longer you may see moving that is moving. But the funny 
part is that our little ride should make anybody tired. See 
the boys dancing over there? They aren't tired. Come 
over here, boys, and cheer up the Yank." 

"Durn your dancing," said Jack, "the Yank's got to play 
euchre; I want revenge." 

"You won't get it then. Don't you see there are twenty 
men dying to play cards with the Yank ? Yank and I can 
beat any two in camp, but I'm going to drop out. Let the 
other fellows have a chance. I say, Yank, you are going to 



116 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

get your breakfast in about an hour — call it dinner if you 
like, or supper if you prefer. Now I want to give you a 
pointer that may be of help to you sometimes. You aren't 
hungry, I know — ^had your breakfast Friday morning, so 
you said — ^but it's kind o' uncertain when you'll get break- 
fast again. What I want you to do is to eat enough to last 
a week if the grub holds out, and I guesa it wiU. 'Twont 
hurt you. We all do it. There ain't a man in camp that 
can't make out with one meal a week when necessary." 

"What's that you are telling me ?" 

"The straight truth. See any of our boys grabbing for 
grub to cook for themselves? I want you to try it. I 
don't want you to go away from us feeling that we didn't 
treat you the best we knew how." 

"I shall certainly not do that, and I shall remember your 
suggestion." 

Leaving twenty or thirty of the boys dancing around the 
card players Captain Penny and I went to call upon the 
colonel. We found him alone. Captain Marks having just 
quit him. 

"Pretty little fight. Colonel," said Captain Penny. 

"Wasn't it a good one? Didn't we do them up nicely? 
Now, Captain, you see the force of what I told you ten days 
ago about fighting four times our numbers. There were 
perhaps more than three to one. The prisoner tells me that 
they had nearly eight to one, but he's mistaken. If they 
h&d five to one the outcome would have been the same. You 
now begin to see why I do not want many men with me." 

"Think it necessary to ride so hard to get away from the 
force we met Friday?" 

"Pm not getting away from them. Fd rather give 
them another turn than to get away from them at this price. 
No; on second thought Pll take that back. I don't see that 
anything could be gained by giving them a second lesson 
even were it as good as the first. However, I am not mak- 



TEAT FURIOUS RIDE 117 

ing this ride to get away from them. I have two reasons 
for it. Without the situation changes before I leave here 
I shall make a roundabout rim to some miles beyond Florida. 
If my arrangements connect at two or three points the 
business for which I deflect from a nearly straight line can 
be done with only a few minutes' delay at each point and 
- the run will be about a forty hours' one. I shall stay 
over in that neighborhood a day or two, perhaps two or 
three days, owing to what changes I may find in the condi- 
tion of recruitiag from that already reported. If two or 
three days, the Federals will surely find out where we 
are and perhaps they will do so in a shorter time. At pres- 
ent they are as ignorant of our whereabouts as the Missouri 
militia men are of moral law. The main reason I made this 
rapid march is that it is a good object lesson. It may teach 
the Federals that they must put a regiment into each county 
to stop me from recruiting in N'orth Missouri." 

"Colonel," I said, "I heard the boys laughing at one of 
our men who lost his head and fired before orders were given. 
He had no time to reload before the Federal was on him. 
In his excitement he brained the horseman with his clubbed 
musket. The next disobedience of orders might not result 
80 fortunately. Don't you think it would be a good plan 
to take us into battle, sometimes at least, with unloaded guns 
and let us stand several volleys before loading? It would 
be hard on raw men but it would be, I think, the best dis- 
cipline for them." 

"I do think it a good plan and I shall adopt it wherever 
practicable." 

An escort now came up to accompany the colonel on a 
visit to his home and we took our leave. We found 
Stillson apparently trying his best to obey the in- 
structions of the ringleader to eat enough to last a 
■week and without any delay we proceeded to do like- 
wise. The meal was an excellent one for the occasion. 



118 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

The commisgary had furnished us plentifully with fat side 
bacon, ground coffee, flour and salt. Slices from the first 
were either fried or scorched in the flame at the end of a 
hazel switch; the coffee was boiled without too much water 
and the other ingredients were mixed with water and cooked, 
bannock fashion, on a griddle. The cooking was not the 
best, as none of our boys could have made fame, or even 
wages, as a chef; but the delightful air, the beautiful land- 
scape, the scent of the walnut leaves, the boisterous good 
nature of the boys, our rapid transit and several other things, 
had whetted our appetites and made the repast a most invitr 
ing one. 

"If you don't eat hearty, Yank, we'll think you don't 
like us," said the ringleader. 

"I do like you and, by your criterion, I'm proving it." 
When the word came to saddle our horses knew what was 
expected of them, and we knew they were ready. Sunday 
night, all day Monday, all night Monday night, with but few 
short stops, the furious ride was continued until sunrise 
Tuesday morning, when it was ended by the fight at Florida. 



CHAPTER XI 
BATTLE OF FLORmA 

It was just light enough to distinguish the outline of the 
covered wooden bridge across the North Fork of the Salt 
Eiver when we reached it about four o'clock in the morning 
of Tuesday, July 22, after what, had it not been for three 
stops of about twenty minutes each, would have been a con- 
tinuous run of thirty-three hours. If a single inhabitant 
of the little village of Florida, the birthplace of Mark Twain, 
had ended his peaceful slumber he made no sign. We 
passed through rapidly and noiselessly. The South Fork of 
Salt Eiver by the road is about a mile from the !North Fork 
and, like the latter, was at that day spanned by an old wooden 
bridge boarded up on the sides and covered up by a shingled 
roof. The village is somewhat nearer the North Fork. In- 
stead of crossing the bridge we went to the ford above, 
watered our horses and bearing off up the narrow valley a 
hundred yards, dismounted for a short encampment. 

Colonel Porter sent Captain Hickerson, the commissary, 
with a guard of three or four men back to the village for 
supplies. It was just sunrise when the commissary and rear 
guards met on the street, and almost immediately they were 
fired upon by a detachment of Major Caldwell's battalion 
of the Third Iowa Cavalry. Captain Hickerson's horse was 
wounded slightly and in the raccitement following the sur- 
prise yoimg Fowler, of Captain Stacy's company, was cap- 
tured. Our men gave a hurried volley and came down on 
the run. Colonel Porter ordered a rapid move on foot 
against the enemy and directed Captain Penny to take 
twenty well mounted men and harrass their flank and rear. 



120 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"Mudd, you have the best horse in the regiment. Come 
on." 

"Captain, my horse struck lame about an hour ago, and 
I find a patch of skin knocked off his fore ankle." 

"Well, you and Vansel and McAtee fall in with the men 
on foot." 

I had exaggerated the lameness a trifle. I had never been 
under fire on horseback and the idea didn't impress me- very 
pleasantly, but my main objection was my solicitude for 
Charlie. I had petted him from the day he was bom. We 
understood each other so well and were such good frienda 
I was afraid I would lose my patriotism if he were killed. 
Captain Penny with our company, less the three, galloped 
up the main road, and we took a short cut through the woods 
on a double quick. Some man up the line suggested that, 
"Like as not, Captain Penny will strike those fellows before 
we get there." 

"Let us see, then," answered his neighbor, "that he 
doesn't." 

And the race began. Our three had lost a little time on 
account of Captain Penny's detail and we had to bring up 
the rear. The wooded hill was a little heavy, but we soon 
scaled it and reaching the flat made a dead run toward the 
enemy. They had hastily formed on the far side of a nar- 
row street or alley, in the edge of the village next to our 
line of approach. The head of our column struck their right 
and our rear had to run across to take position on their left. 
Their fire was a little sharp, but from our point we could 
not see that any damage was done. 

A rail fence ran perpendicularly to the line of battle and 
we had to cross it to take our place. One or two bounded 
over it; the next man jerked off the rider and leaped over, 
followed by two or three. Then one tugged at the stake as 
if to make a gap for an easy passage, but concluding he 
hadn't time, sprang over and on. A man was standing by 



BATTLE OF FLORIDA 121 

watching the maneuvers in a fever of impatience. Judging 
by his •wrinkled features and the color of his hair and ten 
days' growth of beard he was between sbrty-five and sev- 
enty years old. The map of Ireland was written all over his 
face. I had seen him in camp, but I have forgotten his 
name if I ever knew it. He was a good card player, and 
expert jig dancer; considering his age, not bad on a song, 
and his droll wit and unfailing good humor made him popular 
with everybody. He had a white clay pipe in his mouth, 
the stem not over two inches long and at which he puffed 
vigorously. Seeing that the indecision of the men as to 
whether they would jump over the fence or lay down a gap 
was wasting valuable time, he took the pipe out of his mouth, 
emitted a huge expectoration and blurted out : 

"Tear the fince all to hill." 

While at the fence it was told usi that the Federals had 
called out to us not to shoot, that they belonged to our com- 
mand and then immediately fired a volley into us, killing 
Captaia Marks, our quartermaster. I was too far away 
to hear this from the enemy and after the engagement made 
considerable inquiry, but could find nobody who knew the 
report to be true. True or false, it caused some demoraliza- 
tion among a part of our men. At the fence McAtee be- 
came separated from us and went to about the center. He 
was only a few steps away from Captain Marks when he was 
shot. The captain died instantly, the bullet striking him 
near the center of the forehead. He was a good officer and 
a very estimable gentleman; quiet, dignified, clean of speech 
and gentle. I have forgotten where his home was. 

Our right extended six or eight feet beyond their left 
and very near the home of Dr. Johnson, showing that we 
outnimibered then slightly. Ben Vansel was the end man 
and I the next. To our left was a company of which no 
member was known to Ben or myself. Somehow I got the 
impression that it was from the Blackfoot country in Boone 



122 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

County, but I had no opportunity to verify its correctness.' 
The enemy's fire was fierce, but the men on our left were 
not firing and Ben commented on it, wonderingly. Before 
he finished speaking, two young ladies ran out of a house 
near by — ^that of Dr. Johnson — right into the thickest of 
the flying bullets, waving their handkerchiefs and shouted 
in enthusiastic excitement: 

"Hurrah for Jeff Davis! Give it to 'em, my brave boys; 
give it to 'em." 

It was a novel and inspiring sight. Ben and I stopped 
to enjoy it a while. The Blackf oot men seemed amused but 
did not heed the exhortation. 

The two girls were Miss Lucy Young, the daughter of the 
Rev. John F. Young, who lived adjoining Dr. Johnson on 
the east, and Miss Sue Johnson, sister of Dr. Johnson. Both 
have been dead many years, but Miss Young has a sister, 
Miss Lizzie Young, still living in Florida. 

A low rail fence was in front of us. Forty feet distant 
and a little obliquely to my left stood the end man of the 
Federals. I never knew that I had killed a man. Here was 
a chance. The impulse seized me much to mj amazement. 
He had a rosy face, blue eyes, pleasant countenance, six feet 
high, weU built and erect. Perhaps he was the favorite or 
only son of his parents — ^perhaps of a widowed mother. I 
brought up all these things to drive off the impulse, but it 
wouldn't go. I might have driven it away had not that 
white horn button, an inch in diameter, holding together the 

•This was a mistake. Hon. C. C. Turner, preeiding Justice of the Boone 
Court, sends me forty-two name«, Including his own, as a partial list of 
the Blacfefoot Rangers, under command of Captain Frost and Lieutenant 
Bowles, and says they joined Porter "about July 26." Comrade C. H. 
Hance, city treasurer of Los Angeles, California, sends seven names, 
Including his own, as having gone from the vicinity of Renlck, Randolnli 
County, to Join Ftost's company In Boone County. This list includes one 
name In the list of forty-two. He mentions the same Incidents as Jndse 
Turner, but does not give the date on which the company joined Portw 
I well remember the date. It was the morning of Sunday, July 27 Until 
the receipt of this Information I did not know that the Blackf oet Rancers 
and Captain Frost's company were the same. The names are dven In 
Appendix K. So the Blackfoot Rangers were not In the eneaeempnt ■» 
Florida, and I have failed to learn the IdenUty of the company I thoneht 
was the Blackfoot. »- j » ..uuubui. 




MISS LUCY YOUNG 



BATTLE OF FLORIDA 123 

waistband of his trousers, mocked me. It seemed to laugh 
at me and say: 

"You can't/' 

Grasping the slender fence stake in my left hand to give 
a firm rest to the barrel of my musket, I took a careful sight, 
saying : 

"Ben, watch me drive that fellow's breeches button clear 
through him." 

Ben's gun was a carbine. He lowered it and stood watch- 
ing me. As I was about to pull trigger the man next me 
ran up, snatched my arm from its rest, saying: 

"They are our men." 

Loosening his hold, without saying a word, I quickly re- 
covered my gun rest and aim. He repeated his maneuver 
and I 'hiine. He played his act the third time, asserting 
more and more vehemently that they were our men. I 
became furious. Knocking him sprawling with my clenched 
fist, I yelled out : 

"I don't care a damn if they are; they are shooting at us 
and I'm going to shoot at them. Don't you see," address- 
ing his fellows, "that while those men are in their shirt 
sleeves every one of them has on pale blue trousers? How 
many of our men have on pale blue trousers ? " 

This seem to them to be reasonable and a number of them 
began firing. A young lady ran out of the house of a Mr. 
Wilkerson in our front, and mounting the stile around which 
our bullets were raining, shouted: "They are running 
like dogs; give it to them, boys." This was Miss Vena A. 
Riddle, who taught in the school near by, though she seemed 
too young for a teacher. We soon found that she was 
right and that the enemy were running. As soon as I could 
I caught my aim, but by this time their whole line was in 
rapid retreat. I fired at my man and missed him. He and 
four or five others ran in the direction of where there were 
eight good horses hitched to a fence. The main body had 



124 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

gone obliquely to our left. I suggested to Ben that we head 
off the little squad and get the horses. He readily agreed 
and we jumped over the low fence, scaled two high board 
fences that marked two right-angle boundaries of the yard 
of Mr. Wilkerson's home, and which we could have avoided 
by bearing to the left, which course, however, would have 
thrown us in the line of a hot fire. When the Federals 
saw we were running to intercept them they evidently 
thought we were the advance of a larger force and they 
turned sharply to the left and quickly joined the flying main 
body. This left the field clear for Ben and me, and we 
thought surely the Blackfoot men would stop firing, at least 
in our direction, but they poured another volley into us and 
the bullets whistled uncomfortably close to our ears. 

"Ben, I don't believe I want those horses — at the price." 

"I'm sure I don't." 

We went back faster than we came. When we got to our 
place in line Ben said: 

"Do you know why our men fired on us ?" 

"No, do you?" 

"Yes, it was because you have on that Federal blouse." 

"Sure enough; that comes of being caught ynth. stolen 
goods. This blouse and this musket belong to the Memphis 
militia. The blouse is more comfortable for hot weather 
than my coat. I ought to have pulled it off before coming, 
as I did at the fight last Friday, but I forgot it. I shaU be 
more careful and wear it only in camp or on the march 
hereafter." 

"I tell you what I think," said Ben. 

"What?" 

"That there are a number of girls in this village that 
would like mighty well to be boys now. I bet you they'd 
make the Yankees see sights." 

"Wasn't it fine, Ben? I saw Mrs. Sharp do the same 
thing at Wilson's Creek last year, but I was too' far away 



BATTLE OF FLORIDA 125 

to take it all in. These were young tots beside her, but they 
had the spirit all right. I should like to take each one by 
the hand and tell them so." 

"Of course, a boy like you would." 

"Why not?" 

"Mudd, it was too bad that fellow jerked your arm away. 
I knew you could do what you said. When you put your 
eye down the barrel it was as still as death." 

"Ben, I don't think I ever missed a target in my life. 
Buti now that it's over, I'm glad that the Blackf oot did pull 
my arm away. I don't know him but I'm going to look 
him up and tell him I'm glad he did it. I don't wish to 
know that I have killed a human being. I can not account 
for my desire to shoot the Federal. Had I succeeded, I feel 
that I should never forgive myself. Ben, I'm awfully 
ashamed for losing my temper and using the language I did. 
You can count all the oaths I ever let slip on the fingers of 
one hand. I think it an abominable habit. Think, too, 
of swearing when bullets are flying around you. I knew a 
man, the first lieutenant of the CaUaway Guards, Company 
A of my regiment, at Wilson's Creek last August, who 
couldn't speak a sentence without four or five oaths. He 
had his right side to the Federals, his right arm raised over 
his head graspiag his sword, the oaths rolling off his tongue, 
when a cannon ball struck him just below the armpit, cutting 
him nearly in two.^ It was a fearful sight." 

Miss Riddle, now postmistress at Huntington, Ealls 
County, writes : "I was teaching at Florida and boarding at 
Mr. Wilkerson's. Very early in the morning I was awak- 
ened by Mrs. Wilkerson, who said there was trouble in 
town. Mr. Wilkerson had gone out to ascertain the cause 



>The same ball decapitated Isaac Terrlll and wounded tbree men. Terrlll 
and I made all the cartridges used by our regiment that day. Bach con- 
tained nine bullets. There were issued to each man a hundred cartridges 
and a gallon of bullets, with.' orders to pour down a handful after ramming 
the cartridge home. 



126 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

of the alarm. Swift horBcmen seemed to be going up and 
down the main street. We went into the garden for a while, 
but the 'zip, zip' of the minie balls over our heads convinced 
us that the house was a better place. It was all so imex- 
pected — so sudden that I do not think I am capable of giv- 
ing a correct account; not an entire one, at least. Two 
Federals walked through our open hallway and one fired 
out eastward. I think it must have been at our boys, who 
were trying to get the horses hitched at the board fence south 
of Dr. Goodier's place." [Miss Kiddle is mistaken in this. 
The firing was at Captain Hickerson's commissary guard- 
The horses were left undisturbed until the action was over. 
Ben Vansel and I made the first attempt to get them and 
failed.] I tried to take in the situation. I put my head out 
of my window but drew it in when a clothes line a few feet 
away was cut in two by a minie ball. Presently I thought I 
saw signs of the Federals giving away and I ran out to the stile 
and told the boys that the Federals were running. It was 
said that I used a swear sword, but that was an exaggera- 
tion. It was with me as if we had escaped a horrible death. 
We were right between the two fires. I heard Lieutenant 
Hartman say, 'Come on, I am your friend,' and immediately 
after he fired, and I think he killed Captain Marks. I think 
it was the next year that Hartman came through Florida 
on some business. He wished to get his dinner and have 
his horse fed, but he failed to get either. Shortly after the 
battle I saw a man without a coat and he seemed to be sick. 
I asked a friend to give him a coat, but he was afraid of 
being charged with 'aiding and abetting rebels,' so I bought 
the coat and presented it to the coatless one. Lucy told me 
that she saw the Yankees retreating, many of them two on 
a horse. One of your men named Baker was shot in the 
jaw and too badly hurt to travel, and there was one wounded 
Federal left on the ground. We took the two to the church 
and treated them both alike, taking delicacies and flowers 



BATTLE OF FLORIDA 127 

every day. Baker had to be fed principally on soup. Uncle 
Robert Groodier had charge of them and attended them day 
and night, but the ladies visited them several times each day. 
One day the Federals came and made Baker take the oath. 
I asked him if he were going to keep it. He said, 'Yes, I'm 
going to keep it. I'm going to be loyal to the Union until 
I am able to ride. I shall then change my allegiance, as 
the United States laws recognizes my right to do, swear 
fealty to the Confederacy and fight 'em again. Had they 
paroled me I should have kept it until exchanged.' The 
older boys used to teach two little fellows about four years 
old, named Dolph Johnson and Brit Hickman, to climb the 
fence and cry 'Hurrah for Jess Davis' whenever the Federal 
soldiers came through, which was sometimes daily. Captain 
Marks and young Fowler were buried in the graveyard on 
the Florida hills and my brother thinks the citizens after- 
wards placed a monument on the captain's grave. Lucy 
Yoimg and I were dear friends and so were Lucy and Sue 
Johnson. My parents were natives of Virginia, but I am 
proud of my native State — Missouri." 

Miss Lizzie Young writes : "What you have written about 
the girls in the fight here is correct, as that is the way I 
have always heard it. I was small at that time, being 
younger than my sister, although I remember the morning 
of the fight quite well. Captain Marks was killed in my 
father's orchard; also one man wounded there, but I have 
forgotten his name. One wounded Federal was found in 
Dr. Goodier's henhouse. The wounded rebel was taken to 
our home, but in the afternoon both men were taken to the 
church and cared for by the citizens until able to be moved. 
Several persons now living here remember the fight, but they 
were quite young. Two old ladies are still here, Mrs. Jane 
Goss and Mrs. N. J. Davidson. The younger ones have all 
married except myself. They are M. A. Violette, Mrs. 
Mary B. Vandeventer, Mrs. Sallie C. Eichart and Mrs. B. D. 



128 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Pollard. The picture of my sister is a poor copy of one 
taken eleven years after the battle. I could not find the 
original. She was a strong rebel. She gave Captain Hick- 
erson a small silk rebel flag when he was talring breakfast 
at my father's, just after the battle. The Federals killed 
young Fowler just beyond the school house when they began 
to retreat. He and Captain Marks are buried here." 

One of the captains inquired of Colonel Porter if the re- 
treating enemy should be followed. 

"No, if we engaged their whole force I don't care to pur- 
sue them; nothing could be gained by it. If we fought only 
the advance, the remainder may come up and if they do 
they will find us ready. We couldn't catch them on foot 
and it would take too much time to get our horses." 

We were ordered to take position behind the church and 
the school house and keep well out of sight of the road by 
which the Federals retreated and on which they would be 
likely to appear in the event of another attack. Half an 
hour later pickets were sent out and we were directed to 
break ranks and return to camp. I loitered a little and 
presently I noticed a crowd that seemed' to be under some 
excitement. I went into it and found it was hemming in two 
Federal prisoners just sent in by Captain Penny and I soon 
learned the cause of the trouble. When young Fowler was 
captured he was put under our fire and when the Federals 
started to retreat a revolver was rammed into his face and 
he was shot dead in full sight of his two brothers. The two 
Fowlers were in a frenzy of passion and were demanding 
that the prisoners be immediately hung in retaliation. 
Their friends resolutely joined ia the demand and nearly 
every one present voiced his approval. Fate seemed black 
for the prisoners. One of them, Samuel Creek, of Comi- 
pany F, vouchsafed not a word. He was the coolest and 
apparently the most unconcerned man on the ground. He 
was a good looking, well built young man of about twenty- 



BATTLE OF FLORIDA 129 

five years. His eye moved slowly over the crowd of angry 
men, but his pulse never quickened and the color in his face 
never dimmed. The other prisoner, Robert E. Dunlap, was 
Creek's opposite in shape and temperament. Three inches 
taller, he weighed less; hatchet face and eagle nose. Angu- 
lar and awkward, he was a bundle of nerves. His quick 
glance shot here and there with an intensity painful to wit- 
ness. He seemed to take in everything done, said and even 
thought. He was talking to save his neck. His face, white 
with emotion, bespoke intelligence and kindness and when 
he turned his handsome blue-gray eye full upon you his 
earnest appeal for mercy — ^not craven but manly — stirred 
your deepest sympathy. All in vain. He might as well 
have tried to stem the hurricane by whistling against it. 
Young Fowler was a model boy; his two brothers were hand- 
some, intelligent, educated and popular. Stacy's men had 
one will in this matter and it was for vengeance. Dunlap's 
knees shook and his voice faltered, but with a powerful effort 
he controlled his momentary weakness and continued his 
desperate fight for his life. 

"Men," he said, "I can't blame you for how you feel in 
this matter. I admit you have the right to retaliate. The 
laws of war justify it. But is it fair? I tell you, men, 
it is hard for lis to suffer death for the crime of another man. 
Neither of us had anything to do with the murder of the 
prisoner. I abhor such a crime. My record in the army 
has been an honorable one. ■ I have never done a thing I 
should be ashamed for any of you to know. Wow, men, put 
yourselves in our places: How would you like to suffer a 
disgraceful death for something for which you are not 
responsible? My last appeal to you is that if you will re- 
taliate on us, shoot us, don't hang us." 

Since then I have heard the great orators and actors of 
the country; have witnessed the most exciting events of the 
Confederate and Federal Congresses ; listened to the pleas of 

(9) 



130 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

famous advocates in notable trials, but I have never wit- 
nessed a more dramatic incident; I never beard a more force- 
ful appeal. But Dunlap's talk was still the whisper against 
the tornado. ' 

The growing cry for vengeance was hushed by the ap- 
proach of Colonel Porter. Edging his way into the crowd 
he asked the cause of the excitement. One of the Fowlers 
told him. He turned sharply on Dunlap. 

"What is the name of the man who killed Fowler ? 

"Lieutenant Hartman." 

"Did you see him do it ?" 

"Yes, sir; just as he gave the command to retreat he drew 
his revolver and shot the prisoner." 

"What command do you belong to?" 

"The Third Iowa Cavalry." 

"Major Caldwell's battalion?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Where is Major Caldwell?" 

"He was at Paris yesterday." 

"I'll find him. I know Major Caldwell. He is a good 
soldier and a gentleman. I'll send him a flag of truce this 
afternoon and demand of him the surrender of Lieutenant 
Hartman. I shall hold you two men as hostages for the 
delivery of Hartman. If that is refused, we will then 
string you up. But I know Major Caldwell will do what 
is right. He is an honorable man;" 

That settled it. Creek's countenance showed the same 
unconcern. The drawn lines in Dunlap's face relaxed; his 
breathing became easy. The high tension was broken. He 
spoke not a word, but his eye told his gratitude. He peered 
anxiously into many faces as if searching for sympathy. 
He got it, but there was no revelation that he recognized 
the fact. 

There was something in Colonel Porter's manner which 
told me the affair was settled for good. The next morning 



BATTLE OF FLOBIDA 131 

but one it was reported that the flag of truce brought back 
the news that Lieutenant Hartman had been wounded in 
the engagement and that he had died. I learned a little 
later from fountain head that no flag of truce had left our 
command, but I kept the information to myself. 

Lieutenant Cravin Hartman served imtil the end of the 
war, despised and hated by his own men and brother officers. 
One of the latter writes me that "it was reported and gen- 
erally believed that Lieutenant Hartman died with his feet 
about one yard off of and above the ground, which was quite 
appropriate, some place in Arkansas." Another writes to 
the same effect. Two or three years after the war I was 
told by a Federal Captain who had been my schoolmate and 
who knew Hartman in the army, that he was satisfied Hart' 
man was killed by his oTvn men. He was sure that they 
would have shot him in battle if the opportunity had come 
for it to be done without detection. 

Lieutenant Stidger is now living in Colorado. Samuel 
Creek is now a respected citizen of Fairfield, Iowa. Dunlap 
died two years ago in Keosauqua, Iowa. Their names were 
given — I had forgotten them — by Captain B. F. Crail, 
county surveyor, Fairfield, Iowa, who was a sergeant in the 
action in Florida. He also informed me that Sergeant 
Lewis G. Balding was the name of the man I drew 
bead upon — that is, he was "the man who stood on the 
extreme left." Sergeant Balding was killed October 23, 
1864, in an engagement at Big Blue, Missouri. Captain 
Crail has given me information concerning this and other 
affairs that I could get nowhere else. 

Captain Penny finding that he could accomplish nothing 
without exposing his men to our fire, so close were the lines 
of battle, held off and waited. When the break came he 
galloped into the retreating column. The Federals were 
getting away rapidly, but they were not demoralized. 
Sergeant Crail and his men made matters interesting for a 
little while. The horses of Mose Beck and Bob South 



132 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

were shot. Next to Captain Penny, Bob was the largest 
man in the company. His fall shook him up so that a severe 
fever set in, which rendered him unfit for service for a long 
time. He was much attached to his horse, a fine animal 
which he had raised from a colt, and his worry over its loss 
probably aggravated his illness. 

Of this incident Captain Crail writes: "Ton had eight 
of our men prisoners the same time you took Creek and 
Dunlap. I took six of them from you before you got them 
into camp. Who was the captain who took them? He 
had one of the men on the horse behind him. The captain 
caught Kirkpatrick by the left ankle and threw him off his 
horse when it was running at fuU gallop. There were two 
of my men on one horse (Henderson and Bristow) who, 
when I passed them, stopped their horse, jumped off him, 
in place of turning him around, and ran to the rear. I fol- 
lowed Creek to within forty feet of your camp." 

The Federal report is : 

Headquaktebs Third Iowa Cavaibt, 
Paris, Mo., July 22, 1862,-11 A. M. 

Sie: At daylight this morning Joe Porter, with his 
whole force, three hundred strong, come into Florida from 
the north, and encountered fifty of my men there. After 
fighting nearly an hour my men retreated. Our killed, 
wounded and missing number twenty-six. The enemy's 
loss in killed will greatly exceed ours. I can maintain my 
position here, but I have not sufficient force to hold the 
town and pursue. I cannot tell at this hour whether Porter 
will return north, continue south, or remain on Salt River. 
I go to Florida at once with one hundred men. I would 
suggest that a force three hundred strong be sent out to 
Florida at once. 

Respectfully, 

H. C CAUJWEIil^ 

Major Third Iowa Cavalry. 
Coi,. Lewis Mebeili,, Saint Louis, Mo. 




JUDGE HENRY C. CALDWELL 
Major of Third Iowa Cavalry 



BATTLE OF FLORIDA 133 

This report gives fifty as tke number of the Federal force. 
Captain Crail in a letter to me says there were twenty men 
of his company, Y, and two sergeants under Lieutenant Hart- 
man, and the same nimiber of Company G under command 
of Lieutenant Stidger. Hartman, being senior officer, was 
in command. If Major Caldwell made his report on his 
own knowledge, the number must be taken out of con- 
troversy: It was fifty. But if his report was based on in- 
formation obtained from Lieiitenant Hartman it is entitled 
to no credence whatever. The veracity and integrity of 
Major Caldwell has never been questioned. The same can 
be said of Captain Crail. With him, however, it is a matter 
of recollection after forty-six years, and my recollection 
differs from his. It seems to be as fresh in my memory as 
if it were done yesterday that the head of our column, 
which became our left, struck the right of the enemy evenly ; 
that we reached the line of battle by a movement similar to 
that of a spoke in a wheel making the one-fourth of a 
revolution; that I was the end man but one on our right, 
and that our line overlapped theirs less than ten feet. We 
had between ninety and ninety-five men engaged on foot. 

The official report says "our killed, wounded and missing 
number twenty-six." Caiptain Crail says that they had 
twenty six men wounded and none killed. Considering the 
two missing — captured by us — there is a discrepancy, but 
that is a small matter. I am sure the captain is right about 
the loss in killed. They could not have had a man killed 
without the fact being discovered by us. Our loss was two 
killed — Captain John Marks, killed in battle, and Fowler, 
killed while a prisoner — and two wounded, not seriously — 
a man named Baker and the name of the other not remem- 
bered. Had not nearly a third of our men kept their fire, 
being mistaken as to the identity of the Federals, their 
loss would have been liiuch heavier. 



134 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

The Fulton Telegraph gave this account of the affair : 

On Tuesday morning, July 22, at daybreak, Lieutenants 
Stidger and Hartman with fifty men of the Third Iowa 
Cavalry encountered the guerrilla Porter and his band, three 
hundred strong, at Florida, in Monroe County, and after 
fighting nearly one hour were obliged to retire. 

Out of Lieutenant Stidger's squad of twelve men there 
were three missing — Henry G-rogen, supposed killed; R. 
Dunlap and Wm. Miller. 

Wounded and brought in — Joseph Brinnergar, in the 
arm ; David Miller, in the head ; William Clark, in the hip. 

Of Lieutenant Hartman's squad, missing — Gamett, Fuller, 
the two Kirkpatricks, Henderson, Mineely, Lindsay, Car- 
penter, W. T. Bristow, (formerly compositor in this office), 
Long, Fletcher and Creek. 

Wounded and brought in — First Sergeant Baldwin, in the 
arm; Corporals Jones, Palmer and Hem; McBumey, the 
two Orndorffs, severely, and Charles Davis. 

Our men fought desperately. 



CHAPTEK XII 
"YOU MEN MAKE FUN OF EVERYTHING" 

When I returned to the camp Stillson inquired with keen 
interest : 

"What kind of a time did you have ?" 

"Rattling time for a small affair. It was a good ending of 
a long ride. A sharp little fight in the open — they on one 
side of a narrow street and we on the other. You see we 
don't always take the bushes for it." 

I mentioned briefly the features as seen by me, dilating 
somewhat upon the incident of the three young ladies. 

"I wish I could have seen it." 

"If you had been within seeing distance and a stray bullet 
had come to you, think in what a position it would have 
placed us." 

"That's true. I should have liked to see it though. With 
my head on the ground from the first shot to the last I saw 
but little of the battle last Friday. What amazes me is the 
manner you men went up that hill after the terrible ride 
of three days and four nights. In the first place I haven't 
seen a man of you that showed the slighteat appearance of 
fatigue. When your colonel came to this spot and gave 
you your orders, the rapidity with which you men made 
your camp arrangements and flew out of here and up that hiU 
was astounding. How far is it to where the fight took 
place ? 

"I should say half a mile." 

"It seemed to me it was only a minute after your men 
disappeared over the hill before the rattle of the muskets 
began." 



136 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"If you think we ■went up that hill in a hurry you ought 
to have seen us when we got on the level ground." 

"You went up that hill like race horses. Some of your 
men came back nearly half an hour ago. They were laugh- 
ing and joking and half a dozen or more actually got up a 
jumping contest.^ Now, you men haven't tasted a mouthful 
since Sunday forenoon and I haven't yet heard a proposition 
to mob your commissary sergeant. Since I have been with 
you it has been nothing but march, fight and frolic, and I 
don't believe you men care which it is." 

"Well, considering that we are enervated by a life of 
leisure and you are seasoned by one of labor, we do fairly 
well when it comes to endurance." 

"Oh, don't throw that up to me. I said what I believed to 
be true. What astonishes me is the endurance of you men 
and so many of you are nothing but beardless boys, whose 
appearance shows that they have never had any seasoning; 
again the indifference you manifest at whatever turns up. 
You men laugh at everything." 

"Laughing is more conservative of energy than crying 
and ever so much pleasanter to the bystanders." 

"I have been surprised and, I must say, more pleased than 
I can tell, at the way you have treated me." 

"Do you understand Latin ?" 

"No, do you?" 

"No, but my father has been drilling it into me since I 
was ten years old. I once read of an old German baron 
whose motto was 'Mens conscia recti.' The old fellow was 
proud of it, but his neighbors believed his life was little in- 
fluenced by the condition claimed by the motto. The story 



'Some of the boys were wasteful of their endurance, but the majority 
were very careful of it. It was a common thing for them to dismount 
and loosen saddle girths, even for a short bait; for a longer one saddled 
would be removed and they would stretch themselves on the ground to 
give themselves and their horses the full benefit of the rest, neglecting 
nothing calculated to better fit them for extraordinary labor and abstinence 
from food or water. 



"YOU MEN. MAKE FUN OF EVERYTHING" 137 

is apocryphal. Very few of the old German lords knew 
any language but their own, and if they did their consciences 
never troubled them much over questions of right. When 
you go back to civilization and find out what this phrase 
means you may then realize that the mens conscia recti 
possessed by every Southern man is the cause of the light- 
heartedness you have commented upon. If you ever have 
a full opportunity to study the Southern people you will 
find their distinguishing trait to be a personal sense of duty. 
This is what gives our men endurance, fortitude and the 
supreme spirit of sacrifice. This trait is not seen only in 
the educated and cultured, where you might think it came 
by inheritance through several highborn generations and 
fostered by fortunate environment, but it is strongly marked 
Ln all classes. One of the two we had killed last Friday was 
a seventeen-year-old boy named Sparks. He was shot in the 
face — gave a gasp and died. His father was with him. I 
had seen fathers killed in presence of sons, brothers killed 
in presence of brothers, but I never before saw a son killed in 
the presence of his father. I shall not live long enough to 
forget the look of love, sorrow and resignation on the face 
of that father when he took .that son in his arms and moaned 
out, 'the poor boy is gone.' ITow, they were the poorest of 
the poor. Fate had never been kind to them. Their 
memory could bring up only a path in the desert without an 
oasis. Yet their hand was against no man and no man's 
against them. There was no sourness at the world or envy 
for those who walked in easier places. Their idea of duty 
guided and controlled their every impulse and purpose. I 
think I never saw a finer sense of it anywhere.^ Stillson, I 
am not telling you this in a spirit of brag, but partly in reply 
to your implied question and mainly for a purpose. Do you 
know why our boys have taken so great a liking for you ? 



'The Bnbseqne.it record of the elder Sparks In the field and In prison 
was a further proof of the correctness of this estimate. 



138 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"1 do not, and if I suspected the reason it would not 
become me to tell it." 

"When you defended your side last Friday evening, while 
your bearing and language were respectful and courteous, 
your air plainly said, 'I'll say this if they kill me for it.' It 
was the manly spirit that captured every one who heard 
you and they have told all their camp acquaintances their 
opinion of you. We have a genuine feeling of comradeship 
for you, and the fact that you are a Yank heightens the 
feeling and we think we know that you have the same feeling 
for us." 

"Mudd, I am telling you God's truth when I say that 
I never met a set of men whom I liked better on so short an 
acquaintance. You have made no display of your friendship 
for me, but I see it in your every word and act." 

"Stillson, you are a fair man; you wish to be just to every- 
body, friend and foe. Colonel Porter will parole you in a 
day or two — ^perhaps today. When you go among your 
people, in the army or in your home — ^but especially ia your 
home — tell them your honest impression of us. Not of 
us individually — ^we have only a personal regard for your 
recollections of us as individuals — ^but of us as representing 
a class of which, if you knew more, your appreciation would 
be much higher. There are good people everywhere and 
they all have their distinctive virtues. If you have read 
extracts from the newspapers of the South for five years 
past and especially since the war began, you have the idea 
that our people are utterly indifferent to public opinion. 
That is a mistake. The Southern people are more sensitive 
to public opinion than any people on earth. They are, on 
the other hand, less influenced by it when it runs counter 
to their convictions of right. They will not swerve a hair's 
breadth from the path of duty, but they do wish to stand 
well before the world." 

"I say frankly that I never expected to see and hear what 



"YOU MEN MAKE FUN OF EVERYTHING" 139 

I have seen and heard during the past four days. It has 
been a revelation to me." 

After we had fed our horses and breakfasted we made 
ready for a change of base. Before we left camp one o4 
the boys brought in a copy of a newspaper which he had 
obtained in the village. It contained a graphic and very 
exaggerated description of the battle of Vassar Hill. Ac- 
cording to the chronicler our force was much greater in 
number than the Federals; our loss much greater and we 
were driven from the field in great disorder. We made a 
desperate attempt to get away, but fortunately we were 
completely surrounded and our escape was impossible. This 
report caused much amusement. A half dozen or more 
were trying to read it at the same time and it was agreed to 
have it read aloud. At its conclusion a lean individual with 
a solemn face mounted a stump and began a harangue. 

"Men, this is no time for levity. The situation is most 
serious. This news is astounding; it is overpowering. I 
may say in truth that it is appalling. When this mighty 
cordon of Whiskered Pandours closes in — " 

"Pandou'rs is a good word, Jim, hold to it." 

"You ain't said nothin' 'bout the fierce hussars that 
leagued oppression poured." 

"Boys, give Jim a chance and presently he'll tell us that 
Kosciusko shrieked when Freedom fell." 

"Men," resumed the orator, "I am amazed at this evident 
want of appreciation of our impending fate. Nero fiddled 
while—" 

"Who is Nero ? I never heard of him. Is he a Fed or 
Confed?" 

"Mr. Nero, why don't you call a council of war, find out 
the weakest spot in the enemy's line and make a break for 
safety or death ? I'll take safety if I'm to have any choice 
in the division." 



140 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

And more of the same sort. Stillson was an interested 
listener and he said to me : 

"You men make fim of everything." 

"Oh, yes, the boys can't help it. They are a romping, 
rollicking, devil-may-care lot, but beneath all this froth you 
will find a surprising strength of character, seriousness of 
purpose, devotion to ideals and, what you may least suspect, 
a deep religious sentiment. I say surprising, because we 
would scarcely expect such depth of feeling in boys so young 
as you see here. It is the effect of heredity and careful 
home training." 

When just ready to ride out of camp we were thrown in 
close order and brought to attention. The colonel rode to 
the front and made one of his characteristic talks that stirred 
the boys to a high pitch of enthusiasm. He said the endur- 
ance, courage and patience we had exhibited in the extra- 
ordinary demand required of us during the previous six days 
were nothing short of marvelous. Seldom, if ever, in mili- 
tary history had such a march been made. That it was done 
without accident, without loss except by battle, without com- 
plaint or murmur, without apparent fatigue was an assur- 
ance that he had a body of men to be depended upon in any 
event that could arise. He emphasized the necessity of dis- 
cipline and of a strict obedience to orders. This course was 
all the more necessary because very few in the command had 
the slightest benefit of drill, and because it would best aid 
his constant effort to protect the lives and comfort of his 
men. He repeated what he had said before, that he would 
rather run every horse to death than sacrifice the life of 
one man. He spoke of duty in words and manner that made 
every listener forget that there was such a thing as personal 
fear. 

It was evident that Colonel Porter expected warm times 
in the immediate future. It was reasonable to suppose the 
lesson administered to Major Clopper would stimulate un- 



"YOU MEN MAKE FUN OF EVERYTHING" 141 

usual activity in the Federal lines and that this wo.uld not be 
quieted by our subsequent movements. If the , business 
which brought him here could be finished before the various 
Federal commands, hot on our trail, could strike us, well and 
good. If not, what was done at Vassar Hill could be done 
again. 

Colonel Porter, while a rigid disciplinarian, was the most 
approachable of men. He had given the command to march 
by double file and was about to wheel his horse when Tom 
Moore called out : 

"Colonel, going to march aU night tonight ?" 

"Maybe." 

"If you do, I think you ought to .stop a few times for 
a little rest. My horse is a hard trotter, and if we are going 
lickety-spKt without breaking step till daybreak, like we did 
last night and several nights before that, I am afraid he will 
jolt out of my mouth the taste of this morning's breakfast. 
You know india-rubber bread and fat sow taste mighty good 
when you get only three breakfasts a week and no dinners 
or suppers, and I want the taste to stay in my mouth as long 
as possible." 

"If there's anything a Confederate soldier ought to be in- 
different about it is what goes into his stomach." 

"That's me, Colonel, I'm perfectly indifferent as to what 
goes into my stomach, just so it's good eating and a plenty 
of it, and just so it's not a bullet." 

"Some men would rather eat than fight." 

"Well, now, Colonel, when it comes to choosing between 
fighting without eating and eating without fighting, put me 
down for eating. I think I'd live longer." 

Poor Tom got the bullet six days later. 



CHAPTER XIII 
THE PRISONERS ARE PAROLED 

Our march was in a southwesterly direction and extended 
some twenty miles. The guides and couriers along the route 
were carefully instructed as to what they were to say to 
the Federals in answer to their questioning concerning our 
movements and our strength. In certain contingencies our 
numbers were to be underestimated, our appearance de- 
moralized, our horses worn out, but still pressed forward 
with whip and spur; in others our numbers were to be 
greatly overestimated, recruits pouring in, morale unim- 
paired and men eager to meet the enemy. As soon as dark- 
ness had well set in we turned back and, almost retracing 
our steps, went into camp at daylight in a secluded spot 
not far from Santa Fe. We had a good rest for thirty 
hours. Except the time given to sleep, two breakfasts and 
attention to our horses, the boys kept Stillson busy every 
moment plaving euchre. Early in the afternoon of the 
next day, Thursday, Stillson's guard was directed to bring 
him to Colonel Porter to be paroled with the other prisoners. 
A half dozen of us sprang up and, telling the guard to wait 
until we returned, hurried off to the colonel and begged 
him to parole the two Iowa cavalrymen but let us keep 
Stillson as long as possible; pleading that he gave us no 
trouble, that he took the hardship of the march and nothing 
to eat at all in good part, that the boys all liked him, that 
after all they had gone through they thought they ought 
to be humored if there were no particular reasons why they 
should not be, and every other excuse the self-appointed, 
deeply interested committee could think of. Colonel Porter 



THE PRISONERS ARE PAROLED 143 

listened attentively, let us down easy — ^very easy — and re- 
fused our request. The disappointed committee melted 
away; I remained a minute and said, 

"Colonel, your decision is a much greater disappointment 
to the boys than you may be able to understand. They 
are all really greatly attached to Stillson and his presence 
in camp has been a source of pleasure to us all. He, him- 
self, has never given a hint of how he feels about it, for 
he seems to be scrupulously conscientious, but we have 
reason to believe, from his evident appreciation of the treat- 
ment he has received, that he would not be averse to our 
company for a while longer. If there's any way consistent 
with discipline or the good of the service, that he could 
be kept a week, or even a month, longer the boys would 
be delighted." 

"I should like to oblige you in this matter, but it would 
be the same at the end of a week or the end of a month. 
Prisoners are a burden, particularly so in an engagement. 
I can conceive of nothing more repugnant to my feelings 
than the exposing of a prisoner to the fire of his own men, 
and there is always a probability of not being able to 
prevent that. No, we have had the prisoner during one 
engagement, and I don't wish it to happen again. Major 
Caldwell is hot on our trail now and there is another de- 
tachment of Federals feeling its way in this direction.. Its 
likely that we'll run into them tonight; failing that we'll 
meet them tomorrow if they don't keep out of our way." 

Stillson reached our part of the camp shortly after I 
returned, with the announcement that he had his parole 
and was going to leave us. The situation was pathetic 
with just a tinge of the ludicrous. The ringleader — I 
call him ringleader because while I remember him very 
well I have forgotten his name — ^was inconsolable and at 
the moment he knew no better way to express his feelings 
than the renewal of his affected bluster. 



144 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"Yank, haven't I treated you square since you've been 
with us?" 

"You certainly have." 

"Then why don't you listen to me ? Stay with us a day 
or two longer; you are not a prisoner any more, but 
there's not one of us that would object to you staying with 
us a fe-w days, and I don't believe the colonel would if 
he were to find it out." 

"I don't think it would be right for me to remain when 
I am free to go." 

"Now, dog-gone it, Yank, why don't you have some sense ? 
H you leave now the chances are that you will get no 
supper and will have to sleep in a fence comer, and to 
do that after we have fed you three times a day on mince 
pie and let you sleep on a feather bed, I call a mighty 
shabby way of showing regard for hospitality. Stay with 
us tonight and get a good start tomorrow, if you must go." 

This breezy affectation, the evident expression of sincere 
sentiment, greatly impressed Stillson. 

"Men, you will never know, and I can't begin to tell 
you, how much I appreciate your treatment of me. It's 
useless for me to try; I wish you to know that. I am 
not tired of your company, but it is neither just to your 
command nor to my command for me to remain a minute 
after being paroled." 

Stillson shook the hand of every one whose acquaintance 
he had made while a prisoner and with many expressions 
of regard he walked out of the camp. 

My forgetfulness of names has always been a cause of 
annoyance. Nothing relating to Stillson during his six 
days captivity escaped me in all these years except his 
name, which dropped out of my mind before the war ended. 
On the occasion of the national re-union of the Grand 
Army, in Washington in 1892 and again in 1902, I made 
diligent inquiry of the Michigan delegations in the hope of 



THE PRISONERS PAROLED 145 

picking up the lost name and possibly of meeting our old- 
time prisoner, but without result. When I began the col- 
lection of material for this narrative I applied to the 
Pension Office and through the courtesy of Colonel 
Gilbert 0. Kniffen, chief of the Record Division, was 
allowed to copy the names of the survivors of the 
Michigan companies of Merrill Horse, with the inten- 
tion of obtaining all the information they could or 
would give concerning their relations with us in the 
summer of 1862. The success in this line was much greater 
than had been anticipated. Before the correspondence 
with the Michigan survivors had gotten under way I came 
across the report of the Adjutant General of Michigan, 
1901, in forty-five volumes, in the Library of Congress. 
This report gives the military history of every man from 
that State who enlisted in the United States service during 
the Civil War. In volume 45, page 34, is this entry: 
"Edward D. StUlson, enlisted in Company H, Merrill Horse, 
August 29, 1861, at Battle Creek, for three years, age 21. 
Mustered September 9, 1861. Absent with leave July 25, 
1862. Captured by the enemy. Paroled July 28, 1862." 
The date of the parole was wrong, but I was sure of the 
name, because up to that date Merrill Horse had lost but 
one prisoner — ^he whom we took at Vassar Hill. To make 
sure, however, I wrote to the Adjutant General of Michigan 
concerning the erroneous date. Adjutant General James 
N. Cox promptly replied that he had no other information 
than was contained in the published record referred to, 
and suggested that I consult Captain Geo. H. Rowell, Battle 
Creek, in whose company Stillson served. 

The first letter I wrote to our one-time enemy was to 
an address selected at random — ^possibly the fact that the 
residence was in St. Louis determined the choice — Sergeant 
William Bouton, 2909 Park Avenue. He replied promptly, 
giving not only much information, but a list of comrades 

(10) 



146 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

best fitted for the same duty, and this list has proven 
very valuable to me. In regard to Stillson, Sergeant Bouton 
writes : "'When he came into camp he sought an interview 
with the commanding officer of the detachment. My memory 
is that it was Major Clopper and that Lieutenant-Colonel 
Shaffer had not yet joined us. In a later talk he told me 
that he had asked to be sent where he should not have to 
serve against the guerrilla forces. The officer had replied 
that he should not take his parole so seriously; that the 
Government looked upon the work we were engaged in as 
police work, and that our opponents were not to be recog- 
nized in any sense, whether officers or men, as organized 
Confederate forces. Stillson insisted that he had given his 
word and meant to keep it. 'Very well, I will forward an 
account of your case to headquarters for instructions.' The 
reply came back that he should have his discharge; and he 
left us a citizen with an honorable discharge in his pocket, 
if memory serves me right, before the battle of Moore's 
Mill." 

Mrs. Ashbell Riley, a sister of Stillson, who lives on 
a farm near Battle Creek, instead of answering my letter 
came shortly afterwards on one of her not very infrequent 
visits to her husband, and the two spent an evening at my 
home in Hyattsville. She said her parents heard of her 
brother's capture two days after it occurred through a letter 
from Lieutenant Gregory and that, having heard such ter- 
rible accounts in the papers about the guerrillas, they gave 
him up as lost. When about two weeks afterwards he 
reached home it was almost like the dead coming to life. 
And when he told how well the Confederates had treated 
him they could not understand it. The fidelity of my 
memory of the appearance of Stillson and the traits I had 
observed were corroborated by Mr. and Mrs. Riley. In 
answer to my inquiry they said he was fond of playing 
euchre with the members of his family and that he was 



THE PRISONERS ARE PAROLED 147 

expert in the game. Mrs. Riley was mistaken about the 
notification of her- brother's Capture coming from Lieutenant 
Gregory. Lieutenant Jasper L. Gregory was so severely 
wounded at Vaasar HiU that for a day or two he was un- 
conscious and for many weeks was incapable of writing. 
Today he feels the effect of his wound. I should hate to 
know that my bullet caused him all these years of suffering. 
Edward D. Stillson's father, David Stillson, was a native 
of Rochester, New York, and when he died his body was 
sent to that city and buried the same day as one of his 
brothers — ^March 4, 1889. Edward StiUson died in Cali- 
fornia, leaving a widow who later married again. 



CHAPTER XIV 
THE BATTLE OF SANTA FE 

Half an hour after the prisoners were paroled the word 
to saddle was passed around, and presently a newcomer 
rode into camp. I knew he was a newcomer because, the 
day being warm, he had thrown his coat across the pommel 
of his saddle and his white shirt was fresh-laundered and 
clean. He was a fine specimen of the handsome, vigorous, 
intelligent man. In conversation with a little squad he 
said that he was from Boone County, and that his name was 
Kneisley. He had scarcely attached himself to one of the 
companies — ^not ours — ^when the order to march was given. 
Captain Penny's company led the column and the gait was 
a moderate one. A mile or two from camp, at the forks 
of the road, we met StiUson in the left He told us that 
the Federals were down the road a short distance and that 
we should meet them in a few minutes if we kept on. 

"How many are there ?" some one asked. 

"Oh, I don't know. I turned back as soon as I saw they 
were not of my command, and if I did know how many they 
are would you expect me to tell you ?" 

"Certainly not, unless you let it slip without thinking; 
all's fair in love and war, you know. But why is it that 
you did not join them instead of coming back to tell us ?" 

"I consider it the proper thing, as well as the most pru- 
dent, to strike for a post unless I can sooner reach my com- 
mand. As for giving you this information, you men have 
treated me so white, I couldn't help it" 

Mutual expressions of good will and hopes for safety were 



THE BATTLE OF SANTA FE 149 

heartily given and after a round of hand shaking Stillson 
took the other road and was soon lost to view. 

In the meantime Colonel Porter had been sent for. The 
messenger met him coming forward to learn why the 
column had halted. When informed of the situation he 
directed a man to gallop back to where the main body of 
the command would be found and hurry it forward. By 
some means a break in the column had occurred just behind 
Captain Porter's company, leaving that company and ours 
to compose the advance. The colonel said there was an 
excellent spot for battle about a third of a mile to our left 
and that our little force could hold any, number of Federals 
until the other companies came up. We lost no time in 
getting there. ITie place seemed to be made for our pur- 
pose. Our horses were completely sheltered and the con- 
tour of the ground was favorable to us. When the re- 
mainder of the command had come up and taken its place — 
an event looked for with interest and which happened in 
the nick of time — a bank eighteen inches deep was a natural 
fortification for one-third of our men on the left, and two 
half-decayed logs lying in a straight line, with a gap of ten 
feet between, were in the proper position on our right, 
leaving us in the center to hug the ground. The colonel 
standing behind our company ordered every man, officer and 
private, to lie flat on the ground. This was scarcely done 
before the enemy began firing. They fired eight or ten vol- 
leys before they came into sight, the bullets whistling over us. 
Had we been standing our loss might have been consider- 
able, so well had they guessed our location. On they came, 
their commander giving his orders — and very many unneces- 
sary ones — in a very loud voice. It seemed to me that he was 
trying to give us an idea he was not afraid. I said to 
Colonel Porter: "Ain't that funny?" "I never heard any- 
thing like it," he said. I told him that I was not well 
acquainted with Captain McElroy, of Pike County, who had 



150 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

a number of my Lincoln Coiinty neighbors in his company, 
but the voice sounded like his. These loud-toned orders, con- 
tinually kept up, assured us that the enemy, though unseen, 
was steadily advancing. After the fifth volley Colonel 
Porter in a low tone gave the order to load, and it was 
passed up and down the line. We turned on our backs, 
loaded our pieces and quickly and quietly resumed our posi- 
tion. Jim Lovelace, who had a witty or a stinging word 
for everybody and every occasion, had previously named 
Green Rector, "Daddy," and Mart Kobey, "Lieutenant 
Daddy," saw, or thought he saw, that Green was getting a 
little closer to the ground than anyone else and cried out 
just loud enough to escape reprimand: 

"Oh, look at Daddy. He's trying to make a mole of 
himself." 

"Didn't the colonel order us to lie flat on the ground ?" 
"Yes, but he didn't tell va to burrow in the ground." 
"Well, I'm obeying orders; I am. It might be well if 
you'd obey orders a little closer," and Green laughed 
heartily. 

The enemy was now just breaking into view through the 
thick foliage. I glanced down our line to the right and 
saw twenty feet away our latest arrival, Mr. Kneialey, stand- 
ing erect. Whether he had been standing all the while 
through a misapprehension of orders or had become excited 
at the sight of the Federals and had now risen to his feet I 
did not know, but there he was, his clean white shirt a good 
target for the enemy. The colonel saw him nearly as soon 
and called out sharply, "Lie down there!" Before 
Kneisley could obey a bullet struck him just beneath the left 
collar bone, near the neck, passing through the top part of 
the lung and out of the body. Had it ranged an inch 
higher the subclavian artery would have been severed and 
death from hemorrhage would have been almost instan- 



TEE BATTLE OF SANTA FE 151 

taneous. As it was, the wound was a dangerous one and it 
was a long time before recovery. 

The Federal commander now caught sight of us. He 
stopped short, both in step and in orders and cried out as 
loudly as before : 

"Yonder are the God damned sons of bitches, now." * 

"E.eady!" rang out the clear silvery voice of Colonel Por- 
ter, and a moment later : 

"Fire !" 

When the smoke from our volley, which was as if from 
one gun, cleared away, not a Federal could be seen except 
those prone on the ground. Tom Moore broke out into a 
laugh and yelled out at the top of his voice : 

"The God damned sons of bitches are still here, and 
what's more, they are about all that are here." 

In a little while the colonel called for a volunteer picket 
guard, one from each company, to go forward and ascertain 
the whereabouts of the enemy. Henry Lovelace sprang 
forward and the two or three of us who were not quick 
enough, fell back into our places. I wished to go because 
I had never done anything of the kind and because I felt 
curious to know whether or not Captain McElroy had faced 
us, and if he had I might possibly see some of my acquaint- 
ances who were in his company, but Henry had fairly won 
the privilege. 

The pickets returned in about a half hour and reported 
that the enemy had also thrown out pickets on foot, who 
retired before ours and soon the whole force had gone out 
of sight. After the war, in conversation with Charles H. 
Cummins, who had been my schoolmate and who enlisted 
in the Third Cavalry, reaching a first lieutenancy in the 
Forty-seventh Infantry near the close of the war, I learned 
that he was one of the pickets who met ours. Two years 



'I have Uttle patience with profanity, bnt these were the exact words 
of the officer. 



152 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

before the war, in consequence of an uiif ortiinate quarrel, 
our families became enemies and we thought at the time 
that that was the reason why his father espoused the cause 
of the Union. The opinion may have been unjust to Mr. 
Cummins. It was, however, the conmion practice for per- 
sonal enemies to take opposite sides in the struggle. I 
wished at the time and I have since wished that 
Henry Lovelace Jiad not been so quick. Had I met 
Charlie on the picket line I am sure that notwithstand- 
ing our political and personal enmity, I should have 
hailed him in a friendly spirit and I am equally sure he 
would have met my advances in the same spirit. When I 
returned home, two years after the war, his father and 
mother were the first acquaintances I met and they spoke 
in an exceedingly kind manner, which was the first time 
in eight years, the friendly relations between the families 
having been reestablished at the suggestion and through the 
medium of Charlie, who, though hot-tempered, was a warm- 
hearted boy. 

While we were waiting for the return of the pickets Tom 
Moore said : 

"Boys, you see that man lying yonder behind that tree? 
He's mine. You know the colonel's orders have always 
been to fire behind trees and that's the reason why he won't 
let us stand behind trees, afraid th« Feds might get onto 
the same practice. Well, when "Ready" came, 1 covered 
this man and as soon as we are allowed to break ranks we'U 
go over there and you'll find a small bullet wound in his 
belly. You know I have the only rifle in the crowd. If 
you don't find the little bullet hole just where I say I'll 
own up that somebody else got him." 

• Concerning this affair Captain B. F. Crail, of the Third 
Jowa Cavalry, writes: "On the 24th of July Major Cald- 
well mustered up eighty men and pursued Porter and ran 
into him at Santa Fe. I had the advance and ran vour 



THE BATTLE OF SANTA FE 153 

pickets off tVie road in toward Salt River. When the major 
came up he ordered me to dismount with part of my men, 
go in and reconnoiter to find out your location. 1 proceeded 
with seventeen men. I was within a hundred feet of you 
before I saw you. You had piled up some old logs on a 
bank and fired a volley of buckshot into us the first thing. 
I ordered my men to lie down, but was too late. I had 
one man killed and ten wounded. You had one man killed 
that I saw later. We buried him on the widow Botts' farm 
by the side of my man, Case. The Major thought we did 
not have enough men to meet you then. We followed 
Porter south, but stopped at Mexico to care for our 
wounded." 

The Official Army Register, Volunteer Force, United 
States Army, volume VII, page 232, gives the casualties 
of the Third Iowa Cavalry at Santa Fe, Mo., July 24, 1862 : 
Killed, two enlisted men; wounded, thirteen enlisted men. 

Colonel Richard G. Woodson, of the Third Regiment 
Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, in compliance with the re- 
quest of Colonel John B. Gray, Adjutant-General of Mis- 
souri, writes from headquarters at Pilot Knob, December 
19, 1863, a history of the battles, marches, etc., of the regi- 
ment, in which occurs the following : "As soon as the rebel 
Porter commenced organizing his forces in Northeast Mis- 
souri the regiment was placed in the field, and continued 
there continually until the following November. A part 
of the command was in the first engagement with Porter 
the latter part of July, on Salt River, Monroe County, Mo., 
in connection with the Third Iowa Cavalry, Major Cald- 
well in command. It was next engaged with Porter's forces 
a few days after at Moore's Mill, in Callaway County, Mo., 
Colonel O. Guitar commanding." No reference is made to 
the casualities suffered anywhere. Nearly all of my 
acquaintances in Lincoln County who went into the Federal 
army were in this regiment. Colonel Edwin Smart was 



154 ^ITB. PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

its first commander. He resigned in May, 1863, as did 
Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Morsey, and Major Woodson 
became colonel. He was dismissed by Special Order No. 
35, Headquarters of Missouri, February 27, 1864. Com- 
pany G was composed entirely of Lincoln Coimty men and 
Companies C and D, commanded respectively by Captains 
S. A. C. Bartlett and Robert McElroy, had each many re- 
cruits from Lincoln County. 

I saw very many more than seventeen Federals before we 
fired and probably I did not see them all, as the imdergrowth 
was thick in places. I remember hearing Charlie Cummins 
speak on several occasions of having been in this action. 
Bill Rector, a distant relative of Green Rector, of our com- 
pany, also told at Millwood of having the same experience. 
I don't think I ever saw Bill after the war. I think he did 
not survive it. There were others who told me of having 
faced us at Santa Fe, but I have forgotten them. 

We did not have any pickets out. Our company was in 
the lead and we left the road in quick time for our position, 
before we saw the Federals and before they saw us. What 
they saw and took to be our pickets were the rear men of 
Captain Porter's company. The piled up logs mentioned 
by Captain Crail were the two separate logs, where they had 
lain since they were felled. I know the captain aims to tell 
the truth, because that is his character, but we had a better 
and much longer view of the logs and the whole surround- 
ing than he had. 

I did not go with Tom Moore to verify his contention 
that he shot the man behind the tree, but one or two from 
our company did and a few others fell in vnth them. I was 
shortly afterwards told of a circumstance that reflected little 
credit on one of our boys and revealed a very discreditable 
record of the unfortimate victim of Tom's bullet. When 
the man was reached he was unconscious and his death 
seemed to be a question of a few minutes. Some one sug- 



THE BATTLE OF SANTA FE 155 

gested that his pockets be searched for a possible letter to' 
identify him and the name and address of some relative 
whose notification would be an act of kindness. There was 
a letter. It was disgustingly filthy and I shall not tell the 
relationship of the writer to the recipient. The soldier who 
discovered it — I cannot believe that he was a member of our 
company — giggled over its contents and gleefully read it 
aloud. The wounded man opened his eyes, feebly asked for 
water and, when it was given him, feebly murmured his 
gratitude. A stately man came carelessly by without a 
glance at the little group; it was Lucian Durkee's com- 
panion — he who never smiled. The giggling idiot with the 
letter arrested his attention. One look at the name on the 
envelope lighted the hottest fire of the inferno. 

"Is this your name?" reading it to the prostrate man. 

"Yes." 

"You are the damned scoundrel that murdered my 
brother because in the over-crowded foul-smelling prison^ 
at Palmyra he came to the window for a breath of fresh air. 
If you have a prayer to say before you die, say it now. 
Your black soul has only one minute more to pollute this 
earth." 

The watch; one minute, then the revolver. They said 
the handsome face mirrored the demon, and the writhing 
form of the victim was horrible to see. 

The names connected with this incident dropped out of 
my memory, but the other details are as vivid as they were 
when first told to me. Not one of Porter's men with whom 
I have communicated — and I have corresponded with every 



^Over-crowded, lIl-TeBtilated prisons were very common In Missouri. 
There was so mncta sickness from typhoid fever and other diseases in the 
Gratiot Street military prison in St. Louis that Surgeon J. B. Colegrove, 
Medical Examiner, tJ. S. Army, Inspected it and his report was published 
in the Missouri Democrat of September 20, 1862. Among other criticisms 
he says: "The number of persons here confined is large — too large even 
for the occupation of a room twice or thrice the size of this; but with 
no facility for the renewal of fresh atmosphere, the constant accumulation 
of stagnant air, loaded with Impurities, necessarily arising from the 
presence of so many people, how is it possible to prevent the occurrence 
of disease? It is Impossible." 



156 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

known survivor — remembers the incident. Probably not 
one now living, except myseK, ever heard of it. Frank 
McAtee, of Portland, Oregon, in writing his recoUections, 
mentions that Tom Moore mortally wounded a Federal 
soldier named Jack Caae. When Captain Crail. told of 
burying "his man Case," as before quoted in this chapter, 
I asked Frank how he learned the name of Tom Moore's 
victim. In reply he writes: "I do not remember which 
onfi of the boys it was that told me the name of the man 
wounded by Tom Moore at Botts BluflF^ was Jack Case. It 
might have been some one in the military prison in St. 
Louis." So it is established that our men knew the name 
of the Federal soldier who was killed. This slight cor- 
roboration is all the verification of this story I have been 
able to get after very considerable effort. I have failed to 
learn if Case had a wound in the temple as well as in the 
stomach, and failed to learn if he ever did guard duty at a 
military prison. I have no criticism for the man who did 
the horrible deed. Had his position been mine I believe 
that the admonition "Vengeance is mine, and I will repay," 
would have guided my action, but I do not know. 

When the pickets returned Colonel Porter sent two 
mounted men to make a more extended reconnaissance. 
They returned in a short time with the report that the 
enemy had gone for good. Captain Penny proposed a dash 
after them and Captain Porter thought it would be a fine 
thing to do and he was sure his men would like to have the 
opportunity. Colonel Porter would not consent. 

"No, I can't see that anything could be accomplished by 
following the- enemy. We might give them a drive and kill 
a dozen of them and we might lose a man or two, and I 
wouldn't give one of my men for a dozen dead Federals 
Unless to gain some particular purpose." 

'We called this engagement Botts Bluff; the Federal records call it 
Santa Fe. 



THE BATTLE OF SANTA FE 157 

"We haven't had a chase for a month," suggested 
Captain Porter. "The boys would like a lively chase and 
it would have a good efEect on them." 

"I know the boys would like it all right, but they don't 
need it for the experience. They can be depended upon 
for any kind of work that will ever be required of them. 
One reason, and a good one, why we ought not to give chase 
is that it would be a heavy expense on the endurance of 
the horses and just now we must be economical of that, be- 
cause in the next week or ten days we shall need it all." 

We continued our course southward, making good time, 
until near daybreak, when we went into camp not far from 
the southern boundary of Audrain County. We rested the 
entire day, but Colonel Porter did not rest a moment. 
With the sending out of scouts and receiving their reports 
and the interviews with the neighborhood guides and 
couriers he was kept well occupied. I never saw a man 
who could accomplish eo much with so little apparent effort 
or so little impatience. The History of Lewis County, page 
115, truly says he "was a brave and skillful soldier, a man of 
mature years, of great personal bravery, of indomitable will 
and , perseverance, and endowed with remarkable powers of 
endurance and indifference to exposure and every sort of 
hardship." 

I thought there were signs of lively times ahead and that 
the command was not given another day's rest for nothing. 
The camp was in a pretty forest not far from the head of 
the South Fork of Salt River. The day was a beautiful 
one; the warm sunshine and the half unwilling breeze in- 
vited repose. As did nearly every one in camp, I observed 
the proprieties and was lying in the shade of a giant elm, 
on my blue blouse — the same that nearly proved my un- 
doing at Florida. I had not been asleep long before an 
unusual noise in camp aroused me. I recognized it as the 
sound of horses in a stampede and I well knew what a fright- 



158 WITH PORTER IN NORTE MISSOURI 

ful thing that was. With a bound I hugged the elm whoae 
shade had soothed my slumber, but not a second too soon. 
Half a dozen horses, in a fury of fright, came dashing by 
and the calked heel of one left its imprint on the sleeve 
of my blouse. 

That afternoon a remark made by Colonel Porter im- 
pressed me deeply, and revealed an element in his character 
which I did not before suspect. He, Captain Penny, 
myself and one or two others, were talking about the 
skirmish of the previous day at Santa Fe and some of its in- 
cidents. I had observed Colonel Porter's bearing in battle, 
especially in this affair; his perfect poise, his quick grasp of 
situations, his close attention to details and his reckless 
exposure of himself. I said to him: 

"Colonel, I don't believe you know what fear is." 
"Fear ? Why, I am the biggest coward in the world. I 
never go uiider fire that I don't suffer the tortures of the 
damned. If I didn't believe it my duty to be here, Fd go 
home today." 



CHAPTER XV 
BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 

The command left the camp in the woods near Salt River 
in Audrain County sometime after dark Friday, July 25th, 
and marched rather leisurely, west of south, toward the line 
between Boone and Callaway Counties. It was probably in 
the former county that we pitched our camp near daybreak. 
Saturday was a busy day for Colonel Porter. Several 
scouting parties were sent out and the services of an unusual 
number of local guides and couriers were directed. It was 
plain to some of us, at least, that there was business ahead. 
That night we marched some fifteen or twenty miles east- 
ward to Brown's Spring, where early the next forenoon we 
were reinforced by the company of Captain L. M. Frost, 
under command of Lieutenant John Bowles, a few days 
before organized and recruited in Boone County, except 
seven members from Randolph, and an hour or two later 
by that of Captain Alvin Cobb, the most dreaded bush- 
whacker, with the possible exception of Bill Anderson, in 
North Missouri. The military — or perhaps it is more cor- 
rect to say political — exigencies of the time required the 
district commanders, and the rabid press to denounce 
Colonel Porter, Poindexter and others as bushwhackers, but 
there was a great difference in the methods of the authorized 
Confederate officers, whose duty and main purpose were to 
gather and forward recruits to the army in Arkansas and 
whose incidental purpose was to fight whenever necessary, 
and the unauthorized bodies in the class of Cobb and others, 
whose main purpose was to fight Federals. Cobb had 
seventy-five men and the Blackfoot Rangers under Lieu^ 



160 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

tenant Bowles numbered about sixty-five, making our total 
about two hundred and sixty. I am sure our number was 
not less than two hundred and fifty-five nor more than two 
himdred and sixty-five, with the lesser number as the more 
probable. Comrade C. C. Turner, presiding justice of the 
Boone Coimty Court, who was a member of the Blackfoot 
Rangers, thinks our forces numbered two hundred and 
eighty, of which about two hundred went into battle; but 
my opportunity for knowing our exact strength at every 
stage was equal to that of any man under Colonel Porter, 
and it seemed to me that my memory is very clear on this 
point. Every man went into battle except a small camp 
guard and a very few on special duty, not over twenty men 
in all. 

We expected an attack that afternoon and remained in 
line an hour or more, ready and willing, but the enemy came 
not. We were in a very good position, but there was a 
better one a few miles down the Auxvasse, and if Colonel 
Guitar was opposed to Sabbath breaking we would occupy 
it on the morrow, and wait for him. We had gone but a 
short distance when a halt was called and Colonel Porter 
gave us a twenty minutes' talk. He never made a more 
earnest and impressive address. Comrade Charles H. 
Hanoe, the treasurer of the city of Los Angeles, California, 
who had just joined us as a member of Captain Frost's com- 
pany, in his description of the two days he was with us, 
says of this incident: "In a beautiful grove of white oak 
trees we were addressed by Colonel Porter in a most patriotic 
and touching manner. I could see that many eyes were 
dimmed by tears. I really believe there was not one in 
hearing of his eloquent words but would have cheerfully 
faced death for our glorious cause." Th« silence with which 
this fervent appeal was listened to was itself most impres- 
sive. Not a sound or a movement, so eager were his 
listeners to take in every idea, every word, and this stiU- 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 161 

ncBs continued for 8ome minutes after the speech was ended. 
No one was more attentive than Tom Moore, whose horse 
ahnost touched noses with the colonel's. Presently Tom's 
face lost its serious look and he said loud enough to be 
heard by a dozen aroimd him : 

"Colonel, you've told us of the glorious record of Mis- 
sourians and of the grand and beautiful State of Missouri. 
I agree with you. Now just let me keep on being a Mis- 
Bourian for fifty years at least." 

We did not return to camp, which we had left rather hur- 
riedly, in the midst of preparation for dinner, to meet the 
advancing enemy. That was a little hard on us who had no 
breakfast and no opportunity, as Judge Turner says the 
Blackfoot Eangers had to forage off the farm houses for 
supper. We rode three or four miles, encamped on the 
farm of Thomas Pratt, where some of the horses were fed 
and we had a much needed night's rest. 

The next Monday, July 28, we were in the saddle by sun- 
rise. The morning was hot and the smell of battle was in 
the air. We took care that our tracks could be readily 
followed. After three or four miles we left the road and 
went through a long, narrow field of oats which had been 
cut and shocked. Banks were broken and every man lifted 
three or four bundles across his saddle and fed the tops to 
his horse while marching on. The castaway straw plainly 
marked our path. Presently the rendezvous was reached. 
We hitched our horses in a sheltered valley, placed before 
them the remaining sheavfes of oats, made ready as to guns 
and ammunition, and cooked a rather slim ration of flour, 
but before it was ready the order was passed around to form 
in line of battle. We marched about five hundred yards to 
the side of the road, and lying on the ground in the thick 
brushy awaited the enemy. In about an hour, and at noon 
or a little before, they came. 

Our first volley was a surprise; that and our second were 

(11) 



162 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

rather demoralizing. Judge Turner, in a communication 
in Guitar's home paper^ during the general's life-time, says, 
"the general swore a little in those days and after indulgiog 
a little bit, got his men formed." This may have been so. 
I did not hear any swearing by the general — colonel he was 
then; but he was much excited and he roared out, "Bring 
on them cannon." 

The line of attack had not yet developed and it occurred to 
Colonel Porter to inquire about the safety of the horses. He 
accordingly picked out a man here and there and directed 
Lieutenant Bowles to take the squad and make the circuit of 
the camp. At the nearest point reached and just across the 
little ravine, on either side of which the horses were hitched, 
were a farm wagon and team, a negro boy about grown, all 
under the charge of one of our men. A load of shucked com 
had just been emptied in a pile on the ground. The boy was 
standing near the head of the horses and on their left, the 
soldier on the same side and near the rear end of the wagon 
as we came up. "Them cannon" had evidently been brought 
up and placed in position. lieutenant Bowles and the 
soldier in charge had been talking scarcely a minute when the 
dischaige was heard and a ball struck ten feet to our right, 
tearing up the earth and flint stonee in a lively manner. The 
n^ro gave a startled look and stealthily moved off. He had 
gotten twenty feet away before his guard noticed him. The 
latter called out in a tone that compelled obedience : 

"Come back here, you black rascal !" 

The boy came back slowly and haltingly, but it was with 
a powerful effort. The ashy face and wild eye marked his 
mental agony. Before he reached his first position another 
cannon ball plowed up the earth. The negro started to run. 

"You damned scoundrel, come back here, or I'll blow your 



■The Colnmbla Herald, published by my friend, Bdwtn W. Stephens, 
who eatabllBhed the Herald at about the same time I did the Troy, Misaourl, 
Dispatch. 




GEN. ODON GUITAR 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 163 

head off," shouted the guard in a sterner voice than before. 
The negro turned and saw a revolver in the hand of his tor- 
mentor. His aspect was pitiable and yet intensely ludicrous. 
The tormentor kept a straight face, but we could not entirely 
control our laughter. ' 

"Fore God, sir, I can't come back. 'Deed, sir, I can't stay 
here." 

"Yes you can and you will, too." 

"Massa, massa," the tears streaming down his face, "'deed 
I can't stay here when them things is goin' on." 

"Well, take your choice ; stay here with us and risk your 
head taken off by a cannon ball or get ten feet away and I'll 
kill you sure." 

That settled it ; the negro preferred the risk of the cannon 
ball to that of the unerring revolver. During the dialogue 
four other cannon balls came, aU six striking in a space ten 
feet square, each scattering earth and gravel and adding fresh 
torture to the terrified negro. The strut and mimic realism 
of the stage are weak and colorless beside this little scene of 
living drama. The tormentor turned his back on the tor- 
mented to hide his subdued exhibition of enjoyment. In 
leaving, the lieutenant sought to quiet the fellow by saying: 

"Boy, you must not take it so hard; you are just as safe 
here as we are." 

"Yassir, I knows I is, sir ; but I wants to be a heap safer 
dan you is." 

I have lately learned that the boy's name was Buck, that 
he still lives in the vicinity and that he belonged to a Mrs. 
Mary Strother. I suppose that after we left, the tormentor 
relented and allowed the boy to drive home and that the camp 
guards fed the com to our hungry horses. 

The battle was now on in earnest and for more than three 
hours it raged furiously. According to Colonel Guitar's offi- 
cial report he had four hundred and twenty-seven men besides 
the artillery engaged before reinforced by the three hundred 



164 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

and six men under Lieutenant Colonel Staffer. It was hard 
work for our two hundred and forty men, but we went at it 
as if success was inevitable. This was the first time we met 
an enemy who employed our methods of bush fighting. No 
advantage could be gained by us except through superior 
marksmanship and esprit de corps. Time passes so rapidly 
in battle that it is difficult to determine the space between any 
two events. It seemed only a few minutes of intense effort 
on both sides before we made a charge ; it was probably a half 
hour and possibly three-quarters. I have often wondered why 
Colonel Porter said it, but he knew his business and he knew 
his men. Loud enough to be heard by nearly all our men 
but not loud enough to be heard by the enemy, he said in his 
quick, decided way : 

"Boys, we can't stand this ; we shall have to charge them." 

And then in a clear, silvery tone that penetrated the entire 
field and quickened the life blood in every heart: 

"Forward 1 Charge!" 

I don't know how it came about, who started it — ^if any one 
person did — or exactly why it was done, but our line had 
scarcely gotten on its feet to obey the colonel's order before a 
great, spontaneous yeU was raised. I had never before heard 
a yell in battle and none who swelled its volume now had ever 
heard it. It was the same rebel yell with which afterwards I 
became so familiar. To me it always seemed a mingled 
note of encouragement to comrades and defiance to the en- 
emy. Colonel Porter's statement was not needed for us 
to recognize the seriousness of the situation. It was be- 
fore us, in full view. We well knew, too, the desperate 
chance we were taking in charging an enemy who, after the 
first surprises, had not flinched before a raking fire. Some- 
thing must be done to even up the chances. In less than 
sixty seconds one side or the other must give away. Our 
impetuosity must make the enemy believe our retreat impos- 
sible, and the yell was an inspiration. We went like the 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 165 

hurricane. The enemy fled. Colonel Gxiitar did all that 
mortal could do to rally his force, but if ours had been equal 
in numbers we could have driven him into the Missouri 
River, As it was, we captured his artillery and took our 
position a hundred yards in its rear. The efficacy of the 
rebel yell was appreciated by Federal soldiers on every battle- 
field, but it was something they could not imitate. 

Colonel Guitar was a lawyer and the reference to this inci- 
dent in his official report shows his talent for special plead- 
ing. "Just at this moment a heavy fire was opened upon our 
left followed by the wildest yells, and in quick succession 
came a storm of leaden hail upon our center and a rush for 
our guns. On they came tearing through the brush. Their 
fire had proved most destructive, killing and wounding four 
of the cannoneers and quite a number in the immediate vicin- 
ity of the gun ; among the rest my chief bugler, who was near 
me and immediately in the rear of the gun, and who received 
nine buckshots and balls. Now was the crisis; the buck- 
shot rattled upon the leaves like the pattering of hail. I 
could not see our line forty feet from the road on either side, 
but I knew that Caldwell, Duffield, Glaze, Cook and Duhd 
were at their posts and felt that all was well. On they came 
imtil they had gotten within forty feet of the gun. Our 
men, who had reserved their fire until now, springing to their 
feet, poured a well directed volley into their ranks and the 
remaining cannoneer delivered them a charge of cannister 
which had been left in his gun since the fall of his comrades. 
The rebels recoiled and fell back in disorder. They, how- 
ever, rallied and made two other attempts to gain possession 
of the gun, but with like success each time. At this juncture 
Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer arrived upon the field with his 
command." 

As Colonel Guitar practically admits, we had silenced his 
artillery before our charge. We did this by picking off its 
men and horses. The only reason for this was that the 



166 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

artillery was more exposed. The other forces were, like us, 
taking advantage of the thick bmsh and the configuration 
of the ground for protection and concealment. We had 
no dread of artillery, as Colonel Merrill supposed when 
he wrote Major Clopper that it would make us scatter. I 
had sufficient experience on this point the year before and 
our men who had never faced artillery had here an oppor- 
tunity to learn how harmless it was. The "bringing of 
them" was a mistake. The artillery was the indirect cause 
of most of the loss in our company and that of Captain 
Porter at the very close of the action. It accomplished 
nothing more and this was more than offset by its own 
casualties. Comrade E. B. McGtee, of Monroe County, says 
of this part of the engagement : "At this fight our physical 
condition was intense. The day was very hot and we were 
almost exhausted from want of water, food and sleep, and 
no relief or reinforcement could come from any quarter. 
The Federals made repeated charges, which we repulsed. 
They were equipped with artillery which, after a severe 
struggle, we captured. We were finally forced to give up 
the guns, or rather leave them on the field, after spiking 
them." The comrade is mistaken about the guns being 
spiked. I don't think we had anything to spike them with. 
I know that one gun was not put out of service and that it 
was used at intervals until the close of the engagement, and 
I am satisfied that the reason why only one gun was used 
from then on was that the cannoneers, not the cannons, were 
put out of service. We could have carried off the guns, 
but they would have been more useless to us than would a 
fifth wheel to a wagon. 

About one o'clock the battalion of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Shaffer arrived. It came on the field in good shape. We 
had known for twenty-four hours that Colonel Guitar was 
after us. A number of our boys recognized him on the 
field. There was some discussion as to the identity of the 



BATTLE OF MOOBBTS MILL 167 

reinforcements. "Well," said Jim Lovelace, "call 'em the 
Dutch from Warrenton and you'll be as apt as not to strike 
it, and if I am any judge of numbers there are about four 
hundred of 'em." 

"Jim," asked Tom Moore, "can the Dutch fight ?" 

"Don't know. Never tried 'em." 

These "Dutch" could fight and did. As soon as Colonel 
Porter laiew of this reinforcement he withdrew our line to 
one almost parallel with, and ranging from twenty to fifty 
yards in advance of its original position, because it was a 
better one, but mainly because it could protect the camp 
should the enemy, with much superior numbers, discover its 
location and capture or stampede our horses. This change 
in the line was made in perfect order — that is, in as perfect 
order as could be exhibited by undrilled men — and at no 
time was there a lack of entire confidence in our comman- 
der and in ourselves. 

From now untU four o'clock the struggle was maintained 
with dogged obstinacy. Major Clopper realized his mistake 
at Vassar Hill. If he did not his men did, and they knew 
the mettle of the men before them. Half of the battalion 
were from Michigan and they were splendid fighters. The 
whole battalion came down to business with but little delay 
after its arrival. The men "hugged the ground," as we did. 
The two lines crawled toward each other until the whites 
of the eyes could be seen and each man was a target. Of 
course, under the circumstances, much of the firing was in- 
effective. We had never before wasted so much ammuni- 
tion, but it had to be kept up. Many of our boys noticed 
that some of the enemy's bullets were planted in the little 
triangle described by the gun and the crooked right arm. 
Colonel Porter walked up and down the line, carefully 
noting every feature of the engagement and giving here and 
there a word of encouragement and praise. Captain Cobb 
stood like a giant oak that would not bend before the storm. 



168 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

His countenance told of vindictive satisfaction in pouring an 
endless stream of lead in the hated foe. I knew not how 
it was with Cobb's men and the Blackfoot Rangers, but 
about three o'clock our part of the line — that is, Captain 
Penny's and Captain Porter's companies — ^began to realize 
that we had been a little too extravagant with our ammuni- 
tion and doubtless the other companies were in the same 
predicament. We husbanded our little stock during the last 
hour of the battle, but the incessant rattle of the enemy's 
musketry and the occasional roar of the one gun prevented 
us knowing whether or not the remainder of our force were 
following our example. What would be the outcome? 
Considering our diminishing cartridges, the undiminished 
obstinacy of the enemy, this was becoming a burning ques- 
tion. The fatigue from the fifteen terrible days, the 
hunger, the cruel thirst, the bla2dng sim were nothing if 
we could only maintain ourselves after the work of today. 
In the midst of these doubts and fears we were surprised 
to see our entire line, except the two companies, walk off 
the field. What it meant we did not know. Did it mean 
a surrender of the field or was the colonel going to strike the 
enemy's flank or rear? If the latter, why were we not 
ordered to hold the ground at all hazard? One thing we 
did know: That Colonel Porter intended that nothing 
should ever be done without his order, and we were loyal. 
Come what might we would await orders. Presently a 
courier came on the run and, in an excited manner, de- 
manded why we had not obeyed orders. 

"We got none," simultaneously answered Captains Penny 
and Porter. 

"Colonel Porter has ordered a retreat and he sent Lieu- 
tenant Wills to you with the order fifteen minutes ago." 

"He didn't come." 

"Get to camp as quickly as you can." 

We needed no repetition of the order, but we would go 
off the field as slowly as did the other men. We adhered 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 169 

to our determination in spirit but not exactly in the letter. 
When we got to our feet the enemy closed in on us and 
some of our men had to scramble to get out of the closing 
circle. Right here our company suffered. If we had a 
man touched before now I did not know it, but in less than 
two minutes Captain Penny was killed, Tom Moore and 
Mart Robey, as we thought, mortally wounded; Joe Haley 
seriously, and a few others slightly wounded. When Tom 
was struck. Captain Penny, Ben Vansel and Sam Minor 
picked him up and tried to get him off the field. After a 
few steps he said: 

"Boys, I can't make it. I think Fm done for. Put me 
down and save yourselves." 

A second after Captain Penny loosed his hold of Tom 
he, himself, was struck in the breast with a cannister shot, 
and fell apparently dead. Ben Vansel and Mose Beck 
gently and reverently straightened his form and with heavy 
hearts we left him almost in the hands of the advancing 
enemy. It can be said that Captain Penny lost his life 
trying to save Tom Moore. We heard afterwards that he 
lived an hour or so. It was singular that about one hour 
before the battle began a little squad of us, Mose Beck, 
Frank McAtee, Sam Minor and one or two more whose 
identity I have forgotten, were wondering whether the 
enemy would really come or not, and the talk drifted into 
a discussion of individual chances in battle. Captain Penny 
remarked that he had no idea he would ever be hit by a 
bullet. 

"Why," he continued, "if I thought there was any danger 
of my being killed in battle, I'd quit the army and go home 
at once." 

"You don't mean to say," I asked, "that you'd go home if 
you believed in the probability of your being killed?" 

"No, I don't mean to say I'd go home in any event until 
after the war. I used that expression to show how confi- 
dent I am that I shall survive this war." 



170 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Captain Penny was not a very talkative man and the con- 
versation turned into a lighter channel. I never knew what 
he meant, but I always thought his words a modest effort to 
make his men as indifferent to danger as he was. 

We were sure that Tom Moore had only a short time to 
live and the survivors of Captain Penny's company always 
thought he died on the field. Comrade A. J. Austin, of 
Qoss, Missouri, then a member of Captain Wills' company, 
writes me, April 10, this year: "Thomas Moore was not 
killed at Moore's Mill. He was shot through the breast, the 
ball coming out at the back, but he got well. I knew him 
while I was in prison in Alton, Illinois, in the winter of 
1862-3. He was. a stout, heavy set man, and his sleeping 
bimk was next under mine. He told me of the circumh 
stances of his being wounded. He was the first person who 
took the smallpox and, after several days, was sent to the 
hospital. I never saw him again, but I think he got well." 
It is more than probable that he did not recover from this 
illness. I am reasonably sure he did not survive the war, 
or I should have known it, as his home was only fifteen miles 
from mine. 

The ofScial report of Colonel Guitar is a very fair state- 
ment except his omission of our capture of his artillery, his 
over-estimate of our numbers and our losses and his assertion 
that "Porter had studiously impressed upon the minds of his 
men that if taken alive they would be killed." Our men 
had good reason to believe that, but they got the impres- 
sion from the rabid press and the orders of the Federal com- 
manders and not from Colonel 'Porter. Considering the 
environment these little departures from fairness were en- 
tirely excusable. Omitting the extract already given, the 
report is : 

Headqttaetees, 
Columbia, Mo., October — , 1862. 

Sie: — ^I improve this, the earliest opportunity, to report 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 171 

operations of troops under my command at Brown's Spring, 
July 21, and Moore's Mill, July 28, 1862. 

On July 27 I received at Jefferson City, of which post I 
was then in command, a dispatch from General Schofield, 
ordering me to send without delay two companies of my 
regiment to join Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer, Merrill's 
Horse, at Columbia, advising me that Porter was in the 
north part of Boone County with a large rebel force. In 
pursuance of this order I at once started Companies A and 
B of my regiment to the point indicated. Upon the same 
day, and close upon the heels of this dispatch, I received 
a message from Captain Duffield, Third Iowa Cavalry, com- 
manding post at Fulton, advising me that Porter, Cobb, and 
others were at Brown's Spring, eleven miles- north of that 
post, with a force variously estimated at from six hundred 
to nine hundred men; that they were threatening an 
attack upon the post and that the strong probability 
was it would be made before the following morning. 
Ifotwithstanding the absence of General Totten, then 
commanding the Central District, and the very small 
number of available troops at the post (then not exceeding 
five hundred men of all arms), I felt that the emergency 
demanded prompt action and justified the assumption of 
whatever responsibility might be necessary to secure it. 
With one hundred picked men from my own regiment, 
consisting of twenty-five each from Companies E, F, G 
and H, respectively, under command of Lieut. J. Pinhard, 
Capt. H. N. Cook, Lieut. J. V. Dunn and Capt. H. S. 
Glaze, and one section of the Third Indiana Battery, 
thirty-two men, under Lieut. A. G. Armington, I 
crossed the river at Jefferson City, reaching the op- 
posite shore about 10 p. m. Without halting, I continued 
to march over a broken and rough timbered country, arriv- 
ing at Fulton about daylight in the morning, the distance 
being about twenty-seven miles. I found that the post had 



172 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

not been attacked, and that the rebel force was still posted 
at Brown's Spring and receiving accessions hourly. 
The force at Fulton consisted of about eighty men, 
under Capt. George Duffield, Company E, Third Iowa 
Cavalry. Prominent Union men of Fulton advised 
that my force was too small to proceed farther, 
and insisted that I should wait at Fulton for re- 
inforcements. Knowing of no available force in reach, 
and that delay would encourage the rebel element and 
greatly increase their force, I determined to advance with 
the troops at my disposal. After feeding and refreshing 
men and horses I started for their camp, having augmented 
my force by the addition of fifty men of Company E, Third 
Iowa Cavalry,* under Capt. Duffield, malring my a^regate 
force one hundred and eighty-six men. 

Our route lay through comparatively open country until 
we reached the vicinity of the camp, which we did about 
1 p. m. Here I learned, from rebel citizens brought in, 
that Porter was stiU encamped at the Spring with his whole 
force, numbering from six hundred to nine hundred, 
and that he would certainly give us battle. I found 
the Spring situated on the south bank of the Auxvasse, 
in a narrow horseshoe bottom, completely hemmed 
in by a low bluff, covered with heavy timber and 
dense undergrowth, being about one mile east 
of the crossing of the Mexico and Fulton roads. 

Advancing cautiously, when I had reached a point about 
one mile south of the camp I ordered Captain Duffield to 
move with his company along the Mexico road until he 
reached the north bank of the Auxvasse, to dismount, to 
hitch his horses back, and post his men in a brush along a 
by-path leading from the Spring to the Mexico road; when 
there, to await the retreat of the enemy or to come up in 
his rear in case he made a stand at the Spring. With the 
rest of my force, after waiting for Captain Duffield to reach 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 173 

the position assigned him, I moved rapidly in a northeasterly 
direction, through fields and farms, taking position in a small 
arm of open prairie, about four hundred yards 
southeast of the camp and about one hundred and 
fifty yards from the brush skirting the creek. Here 
I dismounted my whole force, hitching the horses to the 
fences in our rear, and, forming upon the right and left 
of the section, which was brought to bear upon the rebel 
camp, I now ordered Captain Glaze, with fifty men, com- 
posed of detachments from the different companies, to move 
directly upon the camp, advancing cautiously through the 
brush and along the bluff imtil he reached the camp or met 
the enemy, and, in either event, to engage him, falling back 
promptly upon our line. While this order was being 
executed I received intelligence that a small party of the 
enemy was seen in the brush about half a mile from our 
right. I immediately sent Captain Cook, with twenty men, 
to reconnoiter the ground and ascertain what force 
was there. On reaching the edge of the timber he 
discovered a party of ten or fifteen rebels, just 
emerging from the brush. The captain promptly fired 
upon them, unhorsing three of the party and scatter- 
ing the rest in confusion. It was afterwards ascer- 
tained that one of the party was mortally, and another 
seriously, woimded. After waiting some forty minutes I 
received a message from Captain Glaze that he had 
reached the camp and that the enemy had fled. I imme- 
diately went forward to the camp and found that it had 
been abandoned in hot haste, the enemy leaving behind them 
one wagon, a quantity of bacon, meal, several sheep, and 
their dinner, which was just ready, unserved. I discovered 
on examining the trail going off, that they had dispersed in 
squads, going down the creek in a northeasterly direction. 
I at once called in Captain Duffield and ordered the woods 
scoured in the vicinity of the camp, which was done, but 



174 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

no enemy found. It being near night, I pitched my camp 
upon the ground where we first formed, intending, after 
resting and feeding (to pursue and make a night attack upon 
them. 

About 8 p. m. I received information that Lieutenant- 
Colonel Shaffer was west of me some ten miles with five 
hundred men. This information together with the ex- 
hausted condition of my men, having been without sleep 
for forty hours, induced me to defer any further move- 
ment until morning. I at once dispatched a messenger 
to Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer, advising him of my where- 
abouts, and asking him to join me aa early as practicable 
next morning. Thus ended our operations at Brown's 
Spring, notable not for what the men did, but what they 
dared. 

At daylight I ordered Lieutenant Pinhard, Company E, 
Ninth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, with twenty- 
five men, to cross the creek below the rebel camp, 
moving down the north side. I at the same time 
ordered Lieutenant Spencer, Company E, Third Iowa 
Cavalry, with twenty-five men, to move down the south 
bank, directing them to proceed cautiously, pursuing the 
rebel trail as soon as they found it, and advisii^ me promptly 
of their presence or movements. 

After dispatching these parties I ascertained that Porter 
had encamped during the night on the Auxvasse, about four 
miles southeast of me, and that his intention was to move 
down the creek. With the rest of my force I at once moved 
for his place of encampment. On approaching the old 
Saint Charles road I discovered a body of troops moving 
east, and, pressing forward, we soon overtook them. They 
proved to be the advance of Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer's 
column, eighty men, under Captain Higdon, the column itself 
being but a short distance behind. I continued moving 
along the Saint Charles road until I reached a point about 



BATTLE OF MOOEWS MILL 175 

one mile east of the Auxvasse. Here I halted until the 
column of Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer came up. It con- 
sisted of detachments from Companies A, C, E, F, G-, H, I 
and K, Merrill's Horse, three hundred and six men; de- 
tachments from Companies F, G and H, Third Iowa Cavalry, 
under Major Caldwell, eighty-three men; Companies B 
and D, Tenth Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, 
one hundred and twenty men, and an independent company 
of cavalry, Captain Rice, thirty-eight men. 

I at once ordered Lieutenant?-Colonel Shaffer, with the 
detachments of Merrill's Horse; Companies B and D, Tenth 
Regiment of Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, and Captain 
Rice's Company, Red Rovers, thirty-eight men, to cross 
the Auxvasse, moving down the east side of the creek, 
as near to it as, practicable, and engage the enemy if 
he should come up with him, relying on my cooperation 
as soon as I should hear the report of his guns. My 
object was to prevent the escape of the enemy and bring 
him to an engagement at once. With my original column, 
augmented by the addition of a detachment of Third 
Iowa Cavalry, eighty-three men, I moved down the 
west side of the creek. I had already been advised 
that my advance was on the rebel trail and that 
his pickets had been seen moving forward to reach the head 
of my column. I found it detached. Through some mis- 
apprehension of orders, and in their eagerness to follow, 
my original column shot ahead, leaving the reinforcements 
more than a mile in the rear. Gralloping forward to halt 
the advance and to order out flankers, I arrived within about 
forty yards of it, when a terrific volley was pored upon it 
from the woods on the east side of the road. The advance 
instantly wheeled into line and returned the fire from their 
horses. I ordered them to dismount, which they did with 
as much coohiess and composure as if going to walk into a 
country church; that, too, upon the very spot where they 



176 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

received the first fire. This advance was composed of 
twenty-five men of Company E, Third Iowa Cavalry, under 
Lieutenant Spencer. 

The advance of my column coming up, composed of the 
remainder of Company E, Third Iowa Cavalry, Captain 
Dufiield, and detachment of Ninth Cavalry, Missouri State 
Militia, under Captains Cook and Glaze and Lieutenant 
Dunn, one hundred and twenty-five men in all, I 
ordered them to dismount and deploy the men in the 
woods upon the right and left of the road, instruct- 
ing them to conceal themselves as best they could and 
not to fire until they saw an object. During this 
time the rebels kept up a continual fire, chiefly upon the 
center of our line. Our fire was by volleys and mostly at 
random. Major Caldwell coming up, I ordered him to form 
his men upon the right of our line, the object of the enemy 
seeming to be to flank us in that direction. To do this he 
was compelled to advance his line into the woods seventy or 
eighty yards east of the road. Here he was met by a strong 
force of the enemy, who greeted him with a shower of shot 
and ball. Our little column wavered for a moment under 
the galling fire, but soon recovered itself and went steadily 
to work. By this time the men seemed to have got into the 
merits of the thing, and the brush which they dreaded so 
much at first, they now sought eagerly as their surest pro- 
tection. Our fire, which was at first by volleys, was now a 
succession of shots, swaying back and forth from one end of 
the line to the other. As soon as I saw our line steady I 
ordered forward one gun of the section to our center, which 
rested upon the road, here so narrow that the piece had to 
be Tmlimbered and brought forward by hand. I ordered 
Lieutenant Armington to open with shell and cannister upon 
the left of the road, which was done in fine style, silencing 
the rebel force completely for a time. I now discovered 
a large body of rebels crossing to the west side of the road, ' 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 177 

evidently -with the view of flanking us on the left. Seeing 
this, I ordered the other gun of the section to take position 
in our rear and on the wrat side of the road and to shell the 
woods upon our left, at the same time ordering the advance 
of our left wing. The prompt execution of these orders 
soon drove the enemy back to the east side of the road. 
This accomplished, there was a lull in the storm ominous 
and deep. 

Our whole line was now steadily advancing. Captains 
Duffield and Cook were upon the right. Major Caldwell 
was upon the extreme left. Captain Glaze and Lieutenant 
Dunn were immediately upon the left of the center. 
* * * * At this juncture Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer 
arrived upon the field with his command. I ordered him 
to dismount his men; to hold one company in reserve; to 
send one company forward to our extreme right, and to take 
position with the rest of his force on our extreme left. 
Company G, Merrill's Horse, under Lieutenant Peckham, 
was sent forward to the right. I am not advised of the 
order in which the other companies were formed on the left. 
I know, however, that all the companies moved promptly 
and eagerly to their positions. I here called upon Major 
Clopper, Merrill's Horse, to act as aide (not having so much 
as an orderly after the fall of my chief bugler), which he 
did during the rest of the engagement, rendering me efficient 
and valuable assistance. 

During the time occupied in making these dispositions 
the battle contiau'ed with unabated vigor. Some of the 
companies, in their eagerness to get into position on the 
left, exposed themselves greatly. Among them Company 
K, Merrill's Horse, and in consequence suffered seriously. 
Lieutenant Myers fell at this point covered with wounds, 
from which he siace died. He bore himself nobly and fell 
in front of his company. The companies, however, without 
faltering, reached their positions. Just at this time a cir- 

(12) 



178 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

cumstance occurred which for a moment occasioned some 
confusion. The cry -was received on the left of the center 
that they were being fired upon by our own men upon the 
extreme left. It was kept up so persistently that I ordered 
the companies upon the left to cease firing. It soon proved, 
however, to be a mistake, and we went on again with the 
work. I now ordered an advance along our whole line, 
which was promptly responded to, and with steady step the 
enemy were soon driven back. Tired of crawling through 
the brush, and catching the enthusiasm as they moved, the 
whole line, raising a wild ehout of triumph, rushed upon 
the enemy, completely routing and driving him from the 
field. 

I immediately ordered two companies mounted and sent 
in pursuit. They soon found the enemy's camp, but he 
had fled, leaving his only wagon and a few horses. It was 
now 4 p. m., the action having begun at 12 m., the men not 
having food or water since morning. The day was one of 
the very hottest of the season; the battle-field in a dense 
unbroken forest, and the undergrowth so thick as to render 
it impossible in many places to see a man in the distance of 
thirty feet. Many of the men were almost famished with 
thirst and exhausted from fatigue and the extreme heau 
These circumstances induced me (much against my will) 
to defer farther pursuit imtil morning. 

Thus terminated the battle of Moore's Mill, brought on 
and sustained for more than an hour by a force of less than 
one third that of the enemy, terminating in his utter defeat 
and rout by a force largely inferior in numbers; that, too, 
upon a field of his own choosing, as strong and as well 
selected as nature could afford. The enemy's force num- 
bered over nine hundred. They were posted behind logs and 
trees, imdei; cover of brush, so perfectly concealed and pro- 
tected that you were compelled to approach within a few 
steps of them before they could be seen. The battle occurred 



BATTLE OP MOORE'S MILL 179 

about one mile west of the Aiixvasse, and about the same 
distance from Moore's Mill, from -wMcli it takes its name. 

Of the conduct of officers and men I can not speak in 
terms of too high commendation. Where every man dis- 
charged his whole duty it would seem invidious to dis- 
criminate. It is enough to say that with such officers and 
men I should never feel doubtful of the result upon an 
equal field. 

The following is a summary of our loss: Third Iowa 
Cavalry, killed two, wounded twenty-four; Mnth Cavalry, 
Missouri State Militia, killed two, wounded ten; Merrill's 
Horse, killed six, wounded eleven; Third Indiana Battery, 
killed one, wounded three; Red Rovers, Captain Rice, killed 
two, wounded seven. Total, thirteen killed and fifty-five 
wounded. We lost twenty-two horses killed, belonging 
almost entirely to the Third Iowa Cavalry. 

The loss of the enemy, as ascertained, was fifty-two 
killed and from one hundred and twenty-five to one hun- 
dred and fifty wounded. His wounded were scattered for 
miles around the battle-field. Many of them were carried 
on horses back to Boone, Randolph and other counties. On 
our march next day we found from one to a dozen at almost 
every house we passed, and many who were badly wounded 
continued with the enemy on his retreat. We captured 
one prisoner and a number of guns. There were among the 
killed and wounded a number of my neighbors and county 
men. A captain and a private of my regiment had each a 
brother on the rebel side and a lieutenant had a brother-in- 
law killed. 

Porter had studiously impressed upon the minds of his 
men that if taken alive they would be killed. One rebel 
was found crawling from the field badly wounded and 
stripped except his drawers. When approached he said he 
was a Federal soldier, but finally admitted that he was not, 
and stated that his object in denuding himself was to conceal 



180 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

his identity, and thus avoid being shot as we passed over 
the field. Others who had been taken into houses along 
the route of their retreat, hearing our approach, would drag 
themselves out into the fields and woods to avoid us, thus 
showing the deep deception which had been practiced upon 
them. 

I encamped for the night near the battle-field, and re- 
sumed the pursuit at daylight next morning. Moving down 
the Auxvasse some four miles, I struck the rebel trail, which 
I followed over a brushy, rugged and broken country until 
noon. In many places the trail led over ravines and hol- 
lows, which they no doubt supposed were impracticable for 
the passage of vehicles. I at length reached a point where 
the trail ran out, and upon examination discovered that the 
enemy had doubled upon his track. The result was that, 
after marching imtil 2 p. m., we found ourselves within two 
miles of the point where we had come upon the trail in the 
morning. In the meantime I had been joined by Companies 
A and B of my own regiment, and, from information obtained 
from them, with other circumstalices, I became satisfied that 
Porter had divided his force, which afterwards proved true. 
A portion, perhaps numbering three hundred, imder 
Cobb, Frost and Purcell, had gone northwest 
through Concord. The remainder, led by himself, 
had gone northeast in the direction of Wellsville. 
I therefore determined to move directly to Mexico 
and endeavor to intercept the main body in the 
vicinity of Paris, being advised that there was a body of 
some 400 rebels near that place organized and ready to join 
Porter. * I reached Mexico at 8 a. m. the following morning, 
and on the same day received a message from Colonel 
McNeil advising me that he was in Paris with three hundred 
and fifty men, and that Porter was in the immediate vicinity 
with a large force, and asking cooperation. I at once 
telegraphed to Lieutenant-Colonel Morsey at Warrenton to 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 181 

move up with his command, numbering about one hundred 
and fifty men, and on the following day the column moved 
for Paris, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer. 

Prostrated by sudden illness, I was here compelled to 
abandon the expedition, well begun, and afterwards so hand- 
somely consummated. 

Respectfully submitted, 

O. G-UITAE, 

Colonel Ninth Missouri Cavalry, Militia. 
Col. Lewis Meerill. 

The History of Shelby County, page 746, says: "Mon- 
day, July 28, Porter and Cobb were attacked by Colonel 
Goiitar with portions of his own regiment, the Ninth Missouri 
State Militia, Shaffer's battalion of Merrill Horse, Duf- 
field's Company of the Third Iowa Cavalry, a company of 
Pike County militia, and two pieces of Eobb's Third Iowa 
battery. The fight came off at Moore's Mill, seven miles 
east of Fulton, and, as might have been expected where 
two such chieftains as Porter and Guitar were engaged, 
was desperate and bloody. Porter was defeated, although 
the Federals allowed him to retreat comparatively [entirely] 
unmolested. The Federal loss was sixteen killed and forty- 
three wounded. The Confederates reported a loss of eleven 
killed and twenty-one severely wounded, but the Federals 
declared this was a large underestimate." The History of 
Boone County, page 422, says: "The total Federal loss 
at Moore's Mill was about sixteen killed and fifty wounded. 
The Confederate loss was about the same. Boone County 
men participated in this fight on both sides. Among the 
Confederates killed were D. P. Brown and Henry Pigg, 
both of this county; wounded, Wm. T. Tolston, John 
McKenzie, John Bergen and John Jeffries." 

The Fulton Telegraph, Extra, July 29, says Guitar left 
Fulton with two hundred men Sunday, and next morning 
before he arrived at the State road from Columbia to Dan- 



182 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

ville "he discovered there were troops on it, which proved 
to be parts of Merrill Horse and the Third Iowa Cavalry 
and a part of Colonel Glover's regiment — ^in all, five hundred 
and fifty men, * * * 

Taking everything into consideration, it was one of 
the hardest fought battles that we have had in North Missouri. 
Our men all fought like veterans and compelled the enemy 
to leave the ground. Our forces would have followed them 
up but for the sultry, hot weather, the men being nearly 
famished for water. [!] * * *,* * * 

"Colonel Gxiitar says he is going to follow them, accord- 
ing to his instructions, 'to the jumping-off place, and then, 
spoil the jumping-off place.' " The same paper, dated 
August 1, says: "Since issuing our extra of the 29th ult 
we have been able to obtain the following list of the loss in the 
Battle of Moore's Mill, seven miles northeast of this city, 
between Colonel Porter of the Confederate Army and detach- 
ments of Federals under Colonel Guitar, his principal officers 
being Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer and Major Caldwell of the 
Third Iowa. Our readers may rely on the following as 
correct. 

"In Merrill Horse the killed were Sergeant Cameron, 
Bugler Ludwigstize, Privates McBride, Walters and James 
Taylor, all of Company K; the wounded were: Lieutenant 
Myers, First Sergeant G. Bradshaw, Corporal Bower, Pri- 
vates Liechte, Hoye, mortally, Van Kamp, J. J. Long, N". 
H. Trude, B. Toyer and Kidner. In the Third Iowa the 
killed were : James Cross, B. F. Holland, John Morgan and 
Robert Parker; the wounded were: T. Johnson, C. Gregory, 
M. J. Clark, W. F. Craven, M. Worley, J. Worley, H. Mor- 
ris, G. Cheatham, J. Harber, S. Shane, J. Burton, E. Watts, 
W. Vandyke, J. A. Dunham, C. W. Gleasan, F, W. Camp- 
bell, S. H. Owens and A. C. Parker. In the Louisiana Inde- 
pendent Red Rovers the wounded were : G. W. Selvey, since 
died; L. B. McCans, since died; A. D. Tipple, W. Ousley, 



BATTLE OF MOOBE'S MILL 183 

W. Cody, Oscar Gilbert, W. P. McCans, T. E. Doge and 
George W. Moore. In the Ninth Missouri the killed were : 
Richard Baker and George Shultz; the wounded were: 
Bugler Gallatly, H. Schrader, P. Kintzer, L. Snowden, 
mortally ; J. Tudor, J. A. Mason, H. Shultz;, Fleming, R. H. 
Breeze, M. Dalton and E. C. Musick. The above includes 
the entire list of the killed and wounded on the part of the 
Federals, except those of the Indiana Battery, of which we 
learned one was killed and two wounded. Thus, it Avill be 
seen that the entire number of the killed and wounded of 
the Federals foots up to fifty-nine. Several of those who 
were wounded have died since the day of the battle. The 
whole number of Federals dead up to this time is fifteen. 

"The rebel loss in killed and wounded amounts to twenty- 
seven. Five of the number were killed outright and one 
has since died. We have not been able to learn the names 
of all the dead and wounded of the rebels, many of the 
wounded refusing to give their names. The following is 
as perfect a list as could be obtained: Captain Penny, of 
Marion^ County, killed by grape shot; Private J. Fowler, 
killed by a minie ball; 0. H. 5ance, Randolph County, 
wounded in arm and thigh, very severe; D. P. Brown, 
Boone County, wounded in head, mortally; William Gibson, 
Scotland County, wounded in left shoulder, not dangerous; 
Thomas B. Moore, Lincoln County, wounded in left breast, 
severe ; James Tolson, Boone County, wounded in leg, severe, 
J. T. Joyner,^ of Shelbyville, wounded in leg, severe; John 
McKnight, of Boone County, wounded in shotdder, severe; 
J. W. Splawn, of Ralls County, wounded in breast, since 
died, E. B. McGee,^ of Monroe County, wounded in head, 
dangerous; George D. Endine, of Marion County; Tole, of 



'Captain Penny's home was In Pike County. 

■See Appendix L. 

This Is a mistake- It was B. L. McGee who was wounded. He was a 
cousin of E3. B. McGee, who was standing by his side at the time. It 
may have been a typographical error, or the wounded man may have 
had a purpose in deceiving the miUtla. 



184 W/rfl- PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Marion County; Hamilton, of Marion County. We did not 
learn the character of the wounds of the last three, but 
understand they are badly wounded. The foregoing includes 
the names of all the rebel dead and wounded that we could 
obtain. We regret that we cannot give the names of all 
their killed and wounded; and out of their entire loss 
(twenty-seven) we can only give the names above. We do 
not suppose that they took any of their wounded oS 
with them for they had no means of carrying them, 
having no wagons or ambulances. They travel with- 
out any incumbrances. Porter carries no tents. He 
and his men sleep on their blankets beneath the 
trees, and subsist on the supplies they get from friend and 
foe on their way. We here repeat what we said in our 
extra of Tuesday last, that the battle of Moore's Mill was 
one of the hardest fought and most hotly contested battles 
that has taken place since the rebellion commenced, consider- 
ing the numbers engaged and the circumstances by which 
the Union troops were surrounded. Colonel Guitar, with 
eight hundred and seventy-five men and two pieces of 
cannon, came upon Po^t^r with three hundred and fifty 
men concealed in the bushes before he was aware of 
his whereabouts, our troops receiving a shower of balls from 
the rebels before they fired a gim. The heroic Union boys 
soon recovered from the shock and were not slow in return- 
ing a deadly fire. The battle raged for two hours, when 
the rebels were put to flight. They left so precipitately that 
if they had had any baggage, supplies or, indeed, anything but 
themselves and horses, it would have fallen in the hands 
of the Union troops. All the troops are loud in the praise 
of the heroic bravery of Colonel Guitar. Indeed all ofiicers 
and men did nobly and bravely 

"Porter and his men fought with desperation. The Union 
troops admit that the rebels showed grit and determina- 
tion — ^that their courage and bravery were worthy of a better 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 185 

cause. We learned from one of the rebels wounded that 
Porter was deceived in regard to the number of the Union 
troops. He had been advised by some means of the num- 
ber that left this place on Sunday night last to attack him 
at Brown's Spring, but did not know that Colonel Gxiitar 
had received reinforcements. The wounded rebel said that 
if Porter had known the number of Colonel Guitar's forces 
he would not have stopped for a fight ; that the Union troops 
had given them more than they had bargained for. Colonel 
Guitar left in pursuit of Porter and his rebel band on 
Tuesday morning. We learned that the rebels divided into 
squads and took different directions. Porter had better 
skedaddle, for he has in his pursuit a brave, energetic oflBcer, 
well fitting the true, tried and heroic troops that are under 
him ; and if Porter don't get beyond kingdom come the boys 
will 'take him in.' 

"There was a prisoner — ^Dr. William M. McFarlane,^ 
brother of Captain McFarlane of Colonel Guitar's regiment — 
taken by the Union troops on the battle-field. The rebels 
took no prisoners. We hope and trust that Porter and his 
like will keep out of the country. The citizens before he 
came were quiet — all was quiet, and peace reigned in our 
midst. All classes were attending to their business. We 
hope, too, that we may not have to record the history of 
another battle in our county." 

The "wounded rebel" interviewed by the reporter was 
either mistaken himself or was deceiving "the enemy," most 
probably the latter. It was our policy to do that whenever 
possible. I had. the opportunity to know that Colonel Porter 
had pretty correct information as to the strength of the 
various detachments on our trail and a fairly accurate idea 
as to their position. Under the circumstances the giving 
of battle was the proper thing. The new men were eager 



^See Appendix M. 



186 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

for battle; the others — the old guard — preferred a fight to 
a forced run. Our horses were the best in the State, but 
we had put them almost to the limit of their endurance — 
over four hundred miles in ten days and on short rations. 
Battle, to them, meant a rest of at least six hours; refusal 
of battle meant a furious run of a hundred miles. More 
important than all it meant discouragement to enlistments. 
I know that Colonel Porter would have stopped and given 
the enemy a few rounds, at least, had they been twice as 
strong in numbers. This newspaper account is somewhat 
extravagant in its praise of the behavior of Guitar's men — 
inferentially of his own regiment. They did fight well after 
they had become steady under the influence of Colonel 
Gxiitar's orders and example, but they were not in the same 
class with the battalions of Major Caldwell and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Shaffer. These men, notably the latter force, came 
on the field meaning business and they stuck to it with do^ed 
determination to the end. 

The Missouri Democrat of July 30 says: "We learn 
that Major Clopper, after routing Porter near Memphis, 
followed him down to Florida, where the guerrillas again 
took flight and were driven into Callaway County, Here 
they were reinforced by Cobb's and Poindexter's bands. 
Colonel Guitar, meantime, had crossed from Jefferson City 
with part of the 9th Missouri State Militia, and here effect- 
ed a junction with lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer and Major 
Clopper, eadi commanding a detachment of Merrill Horse, 
and with Major Caldwell commanding a detachment of the 
Third Iowa Cavalry — making his force six hundred and fifly 
strong. Monday, at noon, he was attacked by Porter, nine 
hundred strong, at Moore's Mill, seven miles east of Fulton, 
and after fighting until four o'clock in the afternoon the 
guerrillas were completely routed, with a loss of seventy- 
five to one hundred killed and wounded and one taken 
prisoner." 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 187 

Elijah Hopper, Columbia, Missouri, a member of Com- 
pany F, Colonel Guitar's regiment, .says, October 7, 1908, 
"Guitar had about three hundred of his own regiment," 
but this is doubtless an overestimate. He continues: 
"Porter's men were formed near the road running north 
and south, and as we came on they attacked us. We fought 
about four hours. We had three pieces of the Third Indi- 
ana battery and the rebels charged it and tried to capture 
it. We fought about an hour and a half, when we were re- 
inforced by Colonel Shaffer. We fought about four hours 
when the rebels retreated. Our command had thirteen killed 
and fifty-five wounded. We collected the dead — both sides — 
after the fight and buried them near a store on the 29th. 
There was a Confederate captain killed there on the east of 
the road not far from where the battery was formed." 

Colonel Guitar's official report was printed in the Colum- 
bia Herald, March 19, 1897, and on April 9, Comrade 
C. C. Turner, of Brown's Station, presiding justice of Boone 
County Court, had an interview in the same paper. 

"Yes, I was at Brown's Spring July 27th, and Moore's 
Mill July 28th, 1862. I think it was on Sunday evening 
when Colonel Porter, who was camped at Brown's Spring, 
had a squad of five men, headed by Lieutenant Bowles, to 
go out and ascertain the movements of General Guitar. 
They soon came in sight of the General advancing on our 
camp. Lieutenant Bowles immediately sent a man to re- 
port to Porter. After finding out the position of the Gen- 
eral's army they returned to camp without a scratch. 

"On entering camp they found Colonel Porter, with 
his men mounted, ready to march. Colonel Porter divided 
his men into several squads and had them to meet in an agreed 
place about one-half mile northeast of the spring. We left the 
camp in the order General Guitar had described it, in order 
to mislead him. 

"When the squads met at the agreed place. Colonel Porter 



188 WITH PORTER IN NORTH. MISSOURI 

had them dismount and hitch their horses and march back 
within a few hundred yards of the spring. Having a good 
position, he had his men form and lie down in line of battle, 
to await the General's advance. On finding the General was 
not advancing on him, he mounted his men and marched a 
few miles farther on. Had the General have come up on 
us we would have given him a warm reception. As night 
was coming on, we again divided up into squads and let the 
good people of that country satisfy our appetites, for which I 
still extend my thanks. Early next morning we mounted 
and took up our line of march, 

"On our march we passed through an oat field, where the 
boys gathered up oats from the shock and fed their horses 
while riding along, leaving a nice trail, that the General 
might have no trouble in following us (which he and his 
men did in grand style, little knowing what was in store 
for them). After coming to the point that afterwards 
proved to be Moore's Mill battle-ground, we left the road, 
went into the brush some distance and then marched badi 
parallel with the road where the fight took place, dismounted, 
hitched our horses and marched up within thirty feet of the 
road. Concealing ourselves until General Ghiitar's com- 
mand got within our front; the signal was given, and we 
poured a volley that proved to be both demoralizing and de- 
structive to the General's army causing them to break ranks 
and scatter. The General swore a little in those days, and 
after indulging some little bit he finally got his men formed 
again and made another attack, proving about as destruc- 
tive as the first; but the General being a nervy man had 
his men keep repeating imtil he was reinforced, and after 
desperate fighting for some time we drove the enemy from 
their artillery. Colonel Porter seeing his ammunition run- 
ning short, and G«neral Guitar being reinforced until he 
outnumbered us three to one, we then withdrew from the 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 189 

field in good order; our men being divided again to meet 
in agreed places. 

"No, Colonel Porter did not have nine hundred men. 
The General having hot lead poured at him from so many 
directions saw nine hundred trees and supposed there was 
a rebel behind each tree. All told, Porter had about two 
hundred and eighty men, of which about two hundred 
went into battle, the remainder being on other duty. I 
don't know just the number the Greneral had. It was re- 
ported he went into the fight with seven hundred men and 
was finally reinforced with four hundred more. We had 
several men woimded but very few killed ; but I don't think 
over one-fourth the number our enemy had. 

"During the fight Porter was continually walking up and 
down the line urging the boys to take good aim and not ex- 
pose themselves nor waste ammunition. While I can't praise 
Porter and hig followers too much, I don't wish to cast any 
reflection on the General and his men. They did some noble 
fighting and it is few men that would have made the second 
attack after receiving such a slaughter. Of course I was 
a mere boy of eighteen, but I think this is a true statement." 

Comrade Hance^ was with us thirty hours but they, 
covering, his solitary battle, were eventful ones to him. He 
writes: "Early in July, 1862, I was living and doing busi- 
ness at Renick, Missouri, where we were daily harassed 
by the militia and to such an extent that I found it impera- 
tive (although having a widowed mother to protect and 
provide for) to arrange affairs to join some Confederate 



'Prefacing Ms Interesting account he says: "Ldke yourself, I 
came of Revolutionary stock. My Grandfather Hance served under 
Washington at the Battle of Brandywlne and was at the surrender 
of ComwalUs at Torktown, he being a rebel and under the greatest 
rebel leader this country ever produced except, perhaps, our noble 
Lee It was bred In the bone for the human descendant of that 

grandfather to take up arms In defense of human rights and of the 
ivaded homes. Yes, the name of Colonel Joseph C. Porter deserves esteem 
and respect as that of a valiant, brave and patriotic Confederate leader 
and he should rank with Ashby, Morgan, Shelby and others who, under 
the moat adverse circumstances, distinguished themselves In a struggle 
which I might say, almost from the start was only a forlorn hope. 



190 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

command in order to reach the army in Arkansas under 
Shelby or Marmaduke. In a few days I had with me Tuck 

Powell, Uriah Williams, William Furnish, Kobin- 

son, George Freeman, E. C. Hance (my brother), all — except 
this brother, who was too young and not strong — as hardy 
and brave a bunch as ever entered the service. It was 
reported that Colonel Porter would attack the Federal forces 
at Mexico, and we much desired to take part in the engagement. 
With that purpose in view we started at once for Matt 
Frost's encampment in the Blackfoot country in Boone. We 
reached the camp shortly after dark and just in time to 
take up the march. The next morning we stopped on the 
prairie near Mount Zion and I could see there was what 
we would call a full company and under command of Frost's 
lieutenant, Bowles, Frost being left behind for some reason. 
Late in the afternoon the march was resumed, the object 
being, as I learned afterwards, to join Colonel Porter at 
Brown's Springs. If you were in Porter's camp you must 
surely remember it,-' for we largely increased his farce. 

"Here I did my first picket duty and I remember my 
anxiety, for reports were continually coming indicating the 
near approach of the enemy. When I was relieved it was 
only a short time before we were ordered to mount and 
march, which we did in a brisk trot, notwithstanding we 
were following a path through heavy timber. Soon we dis- 
mounted and formed in line, waiting an hour or two and 
the enemy not coming, we continued our march. We had 
not gone very far before we were drawn up to listen to a 
speech from Colonel Porter, and I never heard a more in- 
spiring one. We then marched, I think in twos, briskly, 
until some time in the night. Daybreak saw us again in 
the saddle. I remember we rode through a field where oats 
had been cut and shocked. I reached down and lifted as 



'The carrntor remembers that Sunday morning and the Incidents of It, as 
well as If It were yesterday instead of forty-seven years ago. 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 191 

many binds as 1 could for my very hungry horse, a big, fine 
roan, just built far cavalry service and which I had care- 
fully selected before leaving home. Not far from this field 
■we went into camp and we had issued to us for our break- 
fast flour only, as I can best remember. I had just taken 
some of the flour and was mixing it in water obtained from 
the little branch upon which we had pitched our camp when 
our pickets came rushing in reporting the enemy near. 
Eating nothing and almost starved we were immediately 
double-quicked near a mile^ before we were formed in line 
to receive the enemy. My boys were with me, fighting brave- 
ly after the action begim. It seems to me that our com- 
pany was directly in front of the artillery and I have always 
thought it was our fire that disabled the battery and killed 
nearly all the horses. It was just before our charge that 
poor Perry Brown fell, on my immediate left, with part of 
his skuU torn away by a grape shot* The firing by the 
enemy was, I think, the heaviest in the battle. We charged 
and drove them two or three hundred yards and into the 
thick timber. I never understood why our men did not 
take and use the artillery when it was abandoned by the 
enemy. I suppose Colonel Porter lacked artillerymen and 
did not have the force to spare. When the enemy's reinforce- 
ments arrived we fell back to a gully. The enemy's fire was 
continuous and very heavy, the minie balls flying in our 
faces everywhere and the smoke of their guns seemed to 
be within twenty or thirty yards. Here out of our six 
George Freeman, William Furnish, Uriah Williams and my- 
self were wounded. My right arm was fearfully shattered 
almost from the shoulder to the elbow. Another bullet, which 



'Les9 than half a mile If the narrator remembers correctly. 

'It waa a cannlster ball that killed Brown. The battery need only round 
Bhot and cannlster, mostly the latter. GTery missile makes Its peculiar sound 
In parsing through the air and these different sounds can be easily dis- 
tinguished after some experience by those within hearing. A few weeks ago 
Sam Minor picked up two cannlster balls on this field. He sent me one 
and I have It on my desk at this writing. 



192 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

I still carry, buried itself in my thigh and a third grazed the 
skin under my left arm, tearing a hole in my clothing and 
haversack through which you could pass your hand. T 
stepped back to the gully in our rear and the next tiling I 
remember was a Dutchman peeping around a tree at me with 
a shout of glee to see the damned secesh hors de combat. Sev- 
eral of the Merrill Horse and Rice's Red Rovers presently 
came up. One of Merrill's orderlies poured water and brandy 
down my throat and asked me if I wished to be taken up the 
road where they had placed their dead and wounded. I 
asked if there was an oiBcer near would they please call him. 
They called Captain Rice; when he came I took my pocket 
book from under the root of a tree where 1 had hid it and I 
said 'Captain, I have a request to make. Will you kindly 
send this book and money to my mother*, giving him her 
address? He promised to send it immediately and said 
'now I have a request to make of you' — when I think of it 
now I can but laugh at the ridiculousness of it — 'and it is that 
if you ever get back to your command you will recover and 
return one or two of my company guns captured by your 
men as they are of a new kind and limited to my company 
and I cannot get others like them.^ I was then taken to 
the roadside and placed among the Federal dead and wound- 
ed. I had a spell of unconciousness and when I came to 
myself I was all alone and the sun was getting low. I 
thought it time for me, if able, to seek shelter and relief. 
I remembered that while on the march that morning we 
passed a little log cabin before turning into the timber for 
encampment and I thought it could not be far. Though 
weak and nearly blind from loss of blood and suffering an 



'I have one of these guns, nnd value It as a trophy of that memorable day. 
It Is, I think, a Sharpe'a tine; length of barrel twenty-six inches, total length 
forty-two Inches; weight, ten pounds. It Is a breech loader, with cut-otC for 
paper cartridge and carried a forced ball of large caliber. It has a sliding 
hind-sight for up to eight hundred yards, and had a percuaaion-tape attach- 
ment, but this rusted off before the war ended. Before the receipt of 
Comrade Hance's letter I never knew to which command it belonged, as 
all Federals then looked alike. 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 193 

agony from my wounds I made a supreme effort to reach 
it. Fortunately the rail fence had been pulled down to 
the ground. The door was open. T walked in and went 
down on a couch near the door. The floor was covered 
with the wounded and dying. Near the couch was my poor 
Comrade Perry Brown, with his brain oozing out. I think 
he died that night. The scene now comes back to me as a 
terrible nightmare. This cabin was occupied by a lone 
woman whose name I think was Maddox. All night long, 
with a solitary tallow dip, suggestive of spectral shadows, did 
she pass and repass, giving water to the feverish and ren- 
dering what aid she could. God knows how I felt for 
her. The next day two young girls came to assist the poor 
woman. They washed the blood and battle stains from my 
face and hands and gave me some delicious chicken broth 
which was my first food for several days. They told me 
they were Union, but I think such kindness and gentleness 
could only come from sympathizers and that their state- 
ment was made through prudence. 

"As near as I can remember Drs. Scott and Howard 
of Fulton, and Russell of Concord, carried me out of the 
cabin and placed me on a carpenter's bench for the pur- 
pose of amputating my arm, but they laid it over my breast 
and carried me back to either gain more strength for the 
operation or to die. Thank God, a dear old Virginia gen- 
tleman, Colonel Moses McOue, came with a spring wagon 
in which was a feather bed, and took me to his home two 
miles away. The jar of the wagon when backed against 
the door caused me to faint. Mrs. McOue caught me in 
her arms and threw cold water in my face. God bless her ! 
A few days later the same surgeons came and amputated 
my right arm. The ninth day after I walked across the 
room and experienced the saddest moment of my life when 
I looked in the mirror on the dresser. 

"Accompanied by my mother and Miss Ada McCue I 

(13) 



194 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

went to the home of Sam Hudnall, whose wife was my cousin. 
Ten days later I went to Montgomery City and took the train 
for Renick. About three weeks afterwards I was walking 
along the railroad as Paymaster Flynn's car was pulling away 
from the station. I was much alarmed when several Federal 
officers rushed to the rear of the car and Mr. Mynn pointed 
in my direction. I expected the train to back up and that I 
should be taken prisoner and I was relieved to see it spin ahead. 
The next day but one I received a most kind letter from Cap- 
tain Rice. He said his sympathy for me was particularly 
aroused because at the battle of Kirksville he had received 
a painful and severe wound, and that it was by the merest 
accident he had learned my whereabouts through Mr. Flynn ; 
that he still had my pocket book and money and that he 
would be delighted if I would come down to Mexico for 
them. I was afraid of arrest and sent a friend, Ode Cook, 
a Union man. He brought them and a very kind message 
from Captain Rioe whom I shall always remember as one 
of God's noblemen. I still have the pocket book. 

"One of my greatest disappointments resulting from my 
sad experience is that I was cut out of a service in which 
my whole soul and being were enlisted and that I had so 
little association with that grandest and best of men, Colonel 
Joseph C. Porter. However, I have always had the good 
will of Federals and Confederates and though a life-long 
Democrat I have always been successful in my campaigns 
for office, receiving usually as many Republican as Demo- 
cratic votes and notwithstanding my party is greatly in the 
minority here I defeated at the last election a Grand Army 
man by nearly 7,000 votes. Judge Caldwell, who, as major, 
commanded a portion of the Federal troops at Moore's Mill 
is a very near neighbor of mine; a dear, good man whose 
friendship I prize highly." 

I knew Captain Hiram A. Rice. His was a very lova- 
ble character. Governor Campbell, of Missouri, writes me: 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 195 

"Captain Rice died in Montana of softening of the brain, 
some years after the war. He went to Montana to live 
with a stepdaughter or an adopted daughter. His remains 
were shipped back and I think he was buried at Louisiana. 
He was elected assessor of Pike County after the war and 
served two or three terms." 

Comrade J. K. Wine was in the little detachment that 
did not receive the first order to retreat. He says "We 
were almost surrounded. One of our boj's, Ike Hamline, 
who was shot through the body, jumped on my back, but 
I kept up with the others until we got out of the trap. 
There were five in our little squad. When we got to where 
we left our horses we found only two. The other four took 
them and I was left afoot. I struck the trail and soon 
picked up a gun somebody had dropped, and presently a 
sack of buck shot and again a sack half full. The strings 
holding these to the saddle rings had become loosened with- 
out being noticed. Ammunition was too precious to lose. 
With two guns and a heavy wad of shot I trudged on until 
I met Colonel Porter who waa riding a stout chestnut sor- 
rel. He took my load in front and I climbed up behind. 
When we reached camp I was completely exhausted. A 
little rest and a big drink of buttermilk from a house nearby 
put me all right." 

Captain George H. Rowell, then first lieutenant, com- 
manding Company H, Merrill Horse, write§: "Moore's 
Mill fight occurred in a densely wooded country and, while 
yon will remember the position and the stand taken by 
Porter's forces there, I must admit we were very much 
in the dark as to his movements and when the Merrill Horse 
came into the fiight, which Guitar had commenced, because 
he first encountered you, the Merrill Horse beiiig on another 
road, we were at a loss to know just where you were located ; 
not but there were noise and gun firing enough, but it 
seemed to us that the woods was full of you, except to 



196 WITH POBTEB IN NORTH MISSOURI 

the north, which would have been in our rear. The Merrill 
Horse came into the fight on a' road leading to the dense 
woods from the north. When we came in and stripped 
for action, our sabres detached and placed in a pile where 
each company went in, I distinctly remember that the order 
to each company conunander was to have his men lie down 
and only to fire when they saw a man in front. I re- 
member that Company I, of the Michigan battalion, took 
position on the right of the road, supporting our battery 
of six mountain howitzers, while I took position on the 
left of the road facing east. You seemed to be all about 
us only in our rear, and while the firing was incessant 
for a while, we saw but few of the enemy. The only order 
I gave was for the men to crawl on their bellies and when 
they saw a head ahoot at it. The alignment was well pre- 
served and my men behaved splendidly. Only two were 
wounded; Company I had one man killed. Captain Hig- 
don's company, from Cincinnati, had over a dozen killed. 
It was the first time this company had been engaged and 
they exposed themBelves rashly. Now as to what I know 
about the bushwacker Cobb in that fight. He, with his com- 
pany was on the right of the road and in front of our bat- 
tery, which had not commenced firing, and I don't think 
that Cobb knew at first that we had a battery, but as the 
battery grew hotter, he was heard (not by me) to give 
orders to charge, and they came on, when our full battery 
o# six pieces let go, reloaded and fired again. Don't know 
whether all were Cobb's men who were killed and wounded 
on that part of the field or not, but it was reported after 
the fight that thirteen or fourteen were killed and wounded 
in front of our battery. I don't know how we knew that 
Cobb was in front of our battery, but I think it must have 
been from some of the wounded found lliere. The com- 
manding officer of Company I said he distinctly heard the 
order given to charge the battery. Cobb had been a terror 



BATTLE OF MOORE'S MILL 197 

through the counties of Boone, Oallaway and Howard^ and 
was more dreaded by the citizens than by us. The impres- 
sion -was prevalent with those who never saw him that he 
was crippled, either by the loss of an arm or leg. I never 
saw him, nor ever heard of him after the Moore's Mill fight ; 
I think he must have disbanded. That evening we buried 
our dead, took the wounded over to Fulton and the next 
morning pushed on after the enemy." 

Captain J. E. Mason, of Merrill Horse, says: "Your 
forces made a stand on the 28th at Moore's Mill and had 
nearly captured the artillery from the militia when our 
command, after a run of about five miles, charged in and 
saved the guns. If you were in this fight, do you remem- 
ber some of your men fired a volley at four men who were 
carrying a wounded ofiicer off the field?* None of us four 
was hit, but the ofiicer we were eanying off was hit the 
second time. In this engagement, if I remember right, it 
was reported that we had less than haM as many men as 
you had, but we had two pieces of artillery which we came 
very near losing, as Merrill Horse were about five miles 
off when the fight began." 

Mr. D. G. Harrington, of Merrill Horse, writes: "This 
engagement was about the last of July, 1862, the 28th 1 
think. The enemy's force was about one thousand and fifty 
and OUTS somewhere near nine hundred. Our loss was 
about nineteen killed and forty-six wounded; from the pris- 
oners taken their loss was estimated at about sixty killed 
and ninety-one wounded. The fight was hot while it lasted 
and the enemy made a hasty retreat." 



'Captain Rowell's familiarity with the counties mentioned Is probably doe 
to the fact that Mrs. Rowell, a native of Virginia, was reared in Howard 
and educated In Boone. .^, ^ .. t ^ * »■. 

>None of our mrrlTors that I haye been able to reach ever heard of the 
incident. If It was done knowingly, some of Cobb's men were probably the 
offenders. I do not believe there was In the regiment a man capable of 
such a thing; I am sure there was not one In Captain Penny s company. 



CHAPTER XVI 
WE LEAVE THE REGIMENT 

When we reached the camp the head of the column was 
riding off to the north in a moderate trot. The men yet 
unmounted were busy in preparation for the resimiption 
of the march — as we preferred to call it, and which it was, 
rather than a retreat — deliberate in attention to details, 
but not wasting a moment of tima The wounded men able 
to travel were helped into their saddles and there was no 
hitch, or sign of any demoralization. Our little company 
was the last to reach the camp and the last to leave it. Like 
the others we made no unnecessary delay. Joe Haley in- 
sisted that while he was unable to mount he was able to 
ride. Jim Lovelace took charge of Tom Moore's horse, 
Green Eector of Mart Robey's and I took the Captain's. 
The latter was the largest in the regiment, full eighteen 
hands high, light sorrel in color and tough as a pine knot. 
Eeady under the saddle he do^edly kept a snail's pace when 
led. Tiring of this I changed mounts. It was an effort 
to get my foot in the stirrup and more of an effort to reach 
the saddle, the stirrup leathers being three inches too long 
for me. There was no convenient stump in sight and my 
judgment was that I didn't have time to shorten the leath- 
ers. I had not noticed that the girth was very loose; the 
saddle turned before I could seat myself. The horse's body 
was very deep and very narrow, and all efforts to readjust 
the saddle were futile. Our last man had disappeared in 
the woods, and fortunatelj no Federals appeared in eight. 
My glances rearward were frequent and I quickly deter- 
mined my action in "case the enemy appf,ared. I should 



WE LEAVE THE REGIMENT 199 

surrender without negotiation the Captain's horse, sad- 
dle and bridle. It seemed an hour before the stiff, rusty 
buckle of the girth yielded to my strength and parted, leir 
ting the fifty pound saddle and heavy under blanket fall 
to the ground. Too much time had been already wasted 
to attempt at shortening the stirrups. I climbed into the 
saddle, gave another look Federalward — it was my last sight 
of the stately oaks, silent witnesses of our first defeat — 
fiercely drove the spur and was soon in sight of the regi- 
ment. Instead of closing up I drew rein a hundred yards 
in the rear and kept the same distance behind the column 
for nearly a mile. Too tired to talk, dispirited over the 
result of the day, I preferred not to mingle with the men 
yet awhile. 

I wondered why Colonel Guitar had not followed up his 
advantage and thrown his whole force upon us while re- 
treating to our horses. With his much greater numbers 
this would have been his proper course. Without doubt 
Colonel Porter would have drawn us out of the trap with 
his usual skill, but it would have been a very inopportune 
maneuver for us in our position, short of ammunition and 
the lay of the ground against us. Most likely our loss 
would have been greater than in the previous four hours 
of hard fighting. I had wondered, too, why, when our little 
company and that of Captain Porter had been left on the 
field, the enemy by a more vigorous movement, had not 
captured the whole detachment. It could easily have been 
done. The truth is, we had given them enough for one day. 

Our first defeat — ^my first defeat, and I had served longer 
than any man in the regiment. Too bad that our luck 
had changed! JFor some time the gloomy thought bore 
heavily; but it could not last. We had done something. 
In fifteen days we had marched five hundred miles, cap- 
tured a town, paroled a hundred of the enemy; fought four 
battles, two of them against much superior numbers, stub- 



200 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

bornly contested and bloody; choeen the time and place for 
battle in each instance but one; sent out many scouting par- 
ties; supei^sed and directed extensive recruiting efforts; 
kept more than ten times our number of Federals on the 
qui vive and puzzled, running here and there on fools' er- 
rands, killing to horses and men;^ inflicted casualties many 
times greater than received, and gathered as trophies one 
hundred and five muskeits and rifles, thirty sabres, twelve 
revolvers and eight fine cavalry horses and their accoutre- 
ments. All this with a force four-fifths of which were boys 
in their teens, fresh from their homes, without any advan- 
tage of drill,* without experience, without cohesive impulse 
save patriotism and unquestioning faith in the leader; 
without baggage or commissary supplies, with ammunition 
so scant that it had to be carefully husbanded at every turn ; 
against well drilled men, equipped to embarrassment, led by 
capable and energetic commanders. Surely with this record 
we could maintain our own self-respect and perhaps com- 
pel the respect of the enemy. 

A short gallop brought me in the line. The men were 
apparently little concerned about the issue of the battle. 
If Colonel Guitar wanted more, he could have it. If he 
came on now, Colonel Porter would most probably shift 
what little ammunition we had left to one or two compan- 
ies and would fight or run and tole on, or do both, while the 
remainder of the command would make a wild dash for the 
nearest point where ammunition was stored for us, turn and, 
win or lose, give our pursuers what we gave them today — ^the 
best we had. 



•The Federal commander was totally bewildered. Porter's extraordinary 
celerity and long and hard marches confused him. Asked where Porter 
was, he replied: "How can I tell? He may be at any point within a hun- 
dred miles. He runs like a deer and doubles like a fox. I hear that he 
crossed the North Missouri, going sooth, today, but I wonld not be sur- 
prised If he flred on our pickets before morning." — History of Lewis, Clark, 
Knox and Scotland Counties, p. 119. 

'He (Guitar) had two pieces of fine artillery, manned by veterans; Porter 
had none. He had well armed and well mounted cayalcymen, as good as 
were In the Federal service. Porter had a lot of farmers and farmers' boys, 
with no drilling or training, and no experience save what they bad obtained 
under him. — History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, p. 121. 



WE LEAVE THE REGIMENT 201 

We went on till nearly sunset and camped about three 
miles from the battle-field. I rode to the farther edge of 
the camp where our company had dismounted. Hitching 
the captain's horse and mine I joined the little circle sitting 
on the ground. 

"We were just discussing," said Mose Beck, "what is 
best for us to do. The loss of Captain Penny and Tom 
Moore puts a damper on the rest of us. Eobey will more 
than likely die of his wound, and Joe Haley, while able 
to get away, will be disabled for a month, maybe six months. 
There is nobody to take Captain Peimy's place, and if there 
were, our little remnant would cut a sorry figure by the 
side of the other companies. We had cfecided, before you 
came up, that if Colonel Porter was willing we would leave 
the command, go back to Lincoln and Pike, get fifty or 
sixty more men — and we can surely do that well — and strike 
for Arkansas. We had selected you to speak to the colonel 
about it. Of course if he is not willing that settles it, and 
we will stick to him. You know when we left home it 
was the intention and wish of everyone of us to join the 
main army as soon as it was possible to do it. What do 
you think of it ? " 

"You say everybody is agreed? " 

"Everybody." 

"What you say about the expression of sentiment on this 
point before we started is correct. No one was more earnest 
in that expression. than I. Bushwhacking didn't appeal to 
any of us, and, least of all, to me. I had a horror of a 
small fight. It was associated with the idea of a street 
brawl. If I am to die in battle I want it to be a 
battle that will be mentioned in history. I must 
say that my experience since we have been with 
Colonel Porter has modified my sentiments. Where 
can you find a better man than Colonel Porter? Where 
can you find a better regimental commander ? I have seen 



202 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

more service than any of you. I have seen enough to know 
the value of good officers. If an officer has good judgment, 
is cool and courageous, knows when and how to run his men 
into the thickest of it and when not to, is careful of the 
lives and health of his men, he vdU accomplish the best 
possible results with the least loss. He will make a good 
name for his command and he will have the confidence of 
his men. This confidence in officers is the very greatest 
help a soldier can have. It vnll sustain him in battle and 
in all the hard duties that come to him as nothing else 
can. I have seen some very poor officers. I have always 
served under good officers, but I never saw a better one 
than Colonel Porter. Next in importance to good officers 
are good men. They are necessary for the service and 
they are stUl more necessary for our comfort. Good as- 
sociates are just as desirable in the army as in the home. 
Where can you find better men than we have in camp this 
moment ? Where can you find better material for soldiers ? 
Taken all in all, notwithstanding the extraordinary work 
we have done, we've had a pretty good time under Colonel 
Porter. Our battles were sprightly if they were small, 
and there was nothing in any one of them that we need 
be ashamed of. We didn't win today, but we evened up 
pretty well, and we gave Colonel Guitar something to 
ponder over for a few days at least. Personally, I shall 
sever my associations here with regret. Colonel Porter 
has been very kind to me. Not a single day since we have 
been with him has he failed to consult or to have a friendly 
lalk with Captain Penny and myself. We knew almost 
everything that was going on." 

"We know the liking Colonel Porter had for you and 
the captain, and that's the main reason why we selected 
you to talk to him." 

"I'll do it. I think I know enough of the Colonel's plans 
to assure you that he will willingly agree to the proposi- 



WE LEAVE THE REGIMENT 203 

tion. It is in; the line of his policy. I know, further, that 
he will get rid of Captain Oobb's company at the first 
opportunity. I know that it was only the then existing situa- 
tion that made Colonel Porter consent for the temporary 
junction. He doesn't like Cobb's manner of business. Now, 
Mose, while I am going to agree with the company in 
everything, my own choice is to elect you captain, stay 
with the colonel and we'll give a good account for our- 
selves though there are only sixteen of us." 

"Why not you?" 

"I have no turn for it; and if I had I don't think it is 

right or prudent for a boy to command men. I am the 

youngest except Haley, McAtee, Minor and poor Mart 

Eobey, if he is now alive. I blocked a proposition to 

make me first lieutenant when I first joiaed the army last 

month a year ago, giving as a reason that, excepting one, 

I was the yoimgest in the company. More than that, I 

didn't believe I was competent to manage a company; I 

don't believe it now. I am not the stuff that heroes are 

made of. Captain Stacy on one occasion over in Marion 

County was chased by a dozen militiamen. He ran into 

a deserted log cabiu in the middle of a field. The soldiers 

surrounded the cabin and ordered him to come out and 

surrender. He invited them to come in and take him. 

He repeated his invitation again and again, and jeered at 

them until they went off. I don't think I could do any- 

. thing like that. No, my place is in the line. An occasional 

scout wouldn't be objectionable if led by a competent officer. 

This brings up a matter that might be considered. I don't 

know how you may view it, but it doesn't look inviting to 

me. When we go back home we may get the recruits; 

they are there and they are ready to come if we can guide 

them safely across the Missouri Eiver. Under present 

conditions it will be tedious to get into communication with 

the required number. While we are doiag it we shall be 



204 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

hunted like wolves by the militia and shall be compromis- 
ing and endangering our own families and neighbors. 
Understand me, I don't wish to influence a single man. 
I am only trying to give you an idea how much I should 
regret to leave this command. I shall go at once to the 
colonel." 

I found the colonel and Captain Cobb together and I 
heard enough of the conversation to understand that Cobb 
was receiving directions to separate his company from the 
regiment. He did not appear to altogether like the arrange- 
ment, but the details were agreed upon in a courteous 
manner by the two officers. I never learned positively 
when the separation occurred, but think it was that very 
night. 

Captain Alvin Cobb was a large man of magnificent phy- 
sique ; his face broad and the features finely chiseled. His 
countenance lacked an indefinable something of being pleas^ 
ant. As I viewed it there was a suspicion of something sin- 
ister. He rarely spoke and when he did his voice was 
pleasant, his words few and well chosen. The History of 
Lewis County, page 120, calls him "a one-aimed bushwhacker 
captain." This description is not exactly correct He 
had both arms, but he had lost his left hand and half of the 
forearm. To the stump was attached an iron hook by which 
the bridle-rein was managed. He carried a short, heavy 
rifle and two or thiee large revolvers. 

We heard it said that he would not fight if it were possi- 
ble to avoid it ; that his plan was to kill I'ederal soldiers — 
one or twenty — and get away before they fired a gun. 
Whether this was true or not he fought at Moore's Mill and 
his men fought, too, like veterans. He made his men lie 
flat, but he scorned the slightest protection. Standing be- 
fore his line, he maintained an unceasing fire and as fast 
as a piece could be emptied he passed it to the men behind 



WE LEAVE THE REGIMENT 205 

for reloading. He seemed to begrudge the time wasted in 
the transfers. 

John Flood, a schoolmate of mine, wl\o served in the 
Federal Cavalry during the war, told me forty years ago 
that when hie regiment heard that Cobb was coming it sud- 
denly had business elsewhere, and the business would be 
located a hundred miles away if necessary. 

"How many men in your raiment ?" 

"About nine hundred; but we generally had four hun- 
dred or six hundred together at one time." 

"John, do you know that Cobb never had three hundred 
at any one time ? When he was with us he had only seventy- 
five and I doubt if he ever had many more." 

"I don't xjare ; he was bad medicine." 

Doubtless John was putting the joke on himself by a humor- 
ous exaggeration, but for nearly the whole war the name 
of Cobb carried terror into the hearts of the Federal militia. 

I have heard it said many times and seen it in print more 
than once that Cobb had a quarrel with a neighbor and the lat- 
ter induced a Lieutenant Sharp in command of a detach- 
ment of militia at Wellsville to bum Oobb's house; that 
Cobb, a few days afterwards, met his enemy and Lieutenant 
Sharp on the street in a buggy and killed them both; that 
he took the lieutenant's watch and purse and sent them to 
the officer's wife with a note telling why he did the deed. 
How much truth there is in the story I have not been able 
to learn. The Missouri Democrat of September 1, 1862, 
tells of L. Rodney Pocoeke, eighteen years of age, of Mont- 
gomery City, being arrested as accessory in the murder by 
Alvin R. Cobb and others, near Martinsburg, July 18, 1861, 
of Colonel Benjamin Sharp, a citizen of Danville and Anton 
Yaeger, the well known proprietor of Yaeger's Garden in 
St. Louis. The prisoner established his innocence of the 

charge. 

The Pioneer Families of Missouri gives, page 289, a 



206 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

sketch of tibie Sharp family but does not tell of the murder 
of any of them. Major Benjamin Sharp, a E«volutionary 
soldier, settled in the county in 1816 and died in 1843; 
his son, Dr. Benjamin F. Sharp, was living in 1876, when 
the book was published, and he had a nephew of the same 
name. It is very probable that the newspaper got the names 
confounded. It is commonly thought that Cobb did the kil- 
ling. Other murders are attributed to him. He was of 
a good family. What his reputation was previous to the 
war, I have failed to learn. During the war it reflected no 
credit upon our cause. He disappeared at its close. Frank 
McAtee saw him some years afterwards in Colusa, California. 

When Cobb walked away, I disclosed the business on 
which I had come. Colonel Porter replied that the plan 
was a good one and he approved it. 

"You consent for our company to leave the regiment ?" 

"Yes; I am sorry to part with your company. Though 
few in number I could always depend on it. The death of 
Captain Penny ia a loss to the cause and I feel it as a per^ 
sonal loss to me." 

He spoke further and feelingly on this line and made 
an allusion to me for which I thanked him. The details 
of the separation were arranged; the r^ment would break 
camp in half an hour and go in the direction opposite to 
the one we should take and we would leave half an hour later. 
He showed not the slightest sign of fatigue and he was as 
cheerful and as confident as I had ever seen him. 

When I got back I found Minor Winn swearing at his 
luck and the boys poking fun at him. He had been shaken 
up but not much hurt by a kick from his horse and he was 
noisily lamenting the fact that he was done for by the kick 
of an old horse after going through four battles unharmed 
by Yankee bullets. 

I told, the company the result of my mission and was re- 
peating the complimentary things the colonel said of us 



WE LEAVE THE REGIMENT 207 

when it occurred to me that I had forgotten to get the name 
of the guide. I hurried back but could not find Colonel 
Porter. The oversight might place a serious difficulty be- 
fore us. To travel all night without a guide over country 
entirely unknown to us would be tedious, uncertain of 
result and might be hazardous. An attempt to reach our 
destination by day meant a furious ride for three-fourths of 
the distance with probable complications which, under the cir- 
cumstances, we preferred to avoid. While canvassing the 
situation with Mose Beck I saw a man talking to Ben Vansel 
whom I had seen when I dismounted, and of whose conver- 
sation I had overheard a few words, and knew from them 
that he lived in the house nearby. I told Mose that I was 
going to chance it with him. If he were not all right he 
would not know what I meant and if he were strictly all 
right he could give us the information we wanted. Walking 
up to him I asked bluntly : 

"Who is the guide ? " 

"There are three. Wiely Smith is the best." * 

"He is the one we want. Where can we find him ? " 

"Two miles from here, and I'll send a negro boy to show 
you where he lives." 

"Can he come now ? " 

"He'll be here in ten minutes," and he went to bring 
him. 

"Ben, you and I are the hacks of the company, and we 
might as well get our guns and be ready." 

We were waiting when the man came with the boy. The 



■ 'The gnldes •were T. Wlely Smith, J. M. McCall and Frank Peters. Mr. P. 
H. Smlfh Sf Auxvasse. Missouri, says Wsbrotter was Impressed on this 
wcastoh Mrs. T. J. Oliver, of Bl Monte, California, thinks her father, J. 
MMcCall, acted on this occasion, and Sam Minor writes that he was In- 
fold by Thomas Pratt and J. P. Harrison that Frank Peters was the 
S™ The inridints given by Mr. Smith In support of his belief that his 
brotiier was our guldl correspond more nearly with my recollection. If I 
am wrong in this, Peters must have been my guide. I am reasonably certain 
ttatMcCal could not have been. Smith was unmarried at the time of the 
battle and was living at the home of Mr. Samuel Dudley. He died In 1881, 
at the age of forty-seven. 



208 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

latter was a pleasant faced, sprightly negro of about eighteen 
who politely expressed his willingness to serve us. 

There must have been some light from the moon in its 
first quarter, or else the stars were unsually bright. The 
road through the woods could be plainly seen for fifty 
yards or more. The boy walked ahead and Ben was on 
my left. I cautioned him to keep an eye on the negro 
and to rouse me should I drop into a sleep. Tired and 
dull I strapped my musket to my back for fear of losing 
it if carried across my saddle in front as was habitual. At 
half a mile from the camp a noise issued from the bushes 
on the right of the road and about thirty yards ahead, as 
of a loud conversation, but the words were indistinguish- 
able. Instantly a man galloped out, bore down upon us 
and in a loud, excited tone ordered us to halt. We obeyed. 
Why I did not bring my musket to a ready is a mystery 
unsolved to this day. With a quick, unexpected motion 
the man leveled his piece, a double-barreled shotgun — a 
weapon terrible in battle — cocked both barrels, jabbed the 
muzzle within six inches of my breast and roared out. 

"God damn you, I told you to halt." 

"I have halted, but my horse is restless." 

"If you move again I'll blow hell out of you. Who are 
you?" 

"We belong to Captain Pennjr's company. Who are 
you?" 

"None of your damned business," and quick as a flash 
he wheeled his horse, drove the spur and disappeared in 
the wood at his point of egress. 

Equally as quickly I unslung my musket, but before I 
brought it to a level the imprudence of a discharge of 
firearms within the hearing of Federals was realized. 

"Ben, I don't think I ever bad a closer call in my life. 
Two cocked barrels almost touching me and in the hands 
of a man either drunk or dazed." 



WE LEAVE THE REGIMENT 209 

"Don't you tliink he is a Federal scout and that he 
didn't wish to tackle both of us ? " 

"No, he was not in uniform." 

"Well, are aU the militia uniformed? " 

"I think so; at least all that we struck today were. 
Again, this man had a double-barreled shotgun. No, he must 
be one of our men; but I cannot account for his behavior, 
except on the supposition that he is, as I said, either drunk 
or dazed." 

"Mudd, I am not sure that he is not a Federal. Some 
of the militia may use their own guns until others are 
issued them by the Government. Anyway, I think we 
had better not go any farther. It's too dangerous. The 
Federals may have changed their position from the battle- 
field, or they may have thrown out pickets, and we may 
run into them at any minute." 

"It may be so. Whether it is or not, one thing is 
absolutely certain; unless we get a guide and get out of 
this country before morning we will be in danger and a 
plenty of it. This is a case where it is dangerous to go 
ahead and still more dangerous to go back. No, we must 
go on." 

"Deed Massa, I'se sorry to hear you say dat, case I 
can't go anudder step." 

Here was another little bit of comedy like that of the 
midday in the raging of the battle. I described it to Ben, 
and the telling of it drove out all thought of danger. 
This negro was as thoroughly frightened as the other one. 
It was cruel to laugh at him and I cut short the scene as 
gently as I could. 

"Oh, yes; you caji go on." 

" 'Deed I can't, sir; my marster can't 'ford to lose me." 

"See this gun? I think you can go on. Keep right in 
the middle of the road and not over ten feet in front of 
our horses' noses." 

The home of the guide was reached without incident. 



210 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

It was a neat frame building one and a half stories high. 
The lady who met us said Mr. Smith was at home, but 
having been out late last night he had already retired. 
When shown to his room we told him that we wished 
him to put us within three miles of Nineveh (now Olney) 
in Lincoln County before daylight. 

"Why that's at least fifty miles from here." 

"Guess you are right." 

"I don't know a thing about the road." 

"That's bad for us, because you are going to be our 
guide." 

"If I did know the road, I couldn't get back before to- 
morrow afternoon and if the militia catch me out of this 
neighborhood they will hang me. They suspect me of all 
manner of bad things." 

"That's bad for you, for you are to be our guide." 

He sprang out of bed, drew on his clothes and ran 
down stairs calling out — 

"Come on." 

In less than five minutes he was ready. 

"Let the nigger get back in his own time; we can't 
wait for him." 

A fast trot soon brought us to camp and our men were 
ready and waiting. 

"How do you men want to go ? " asked the guide. 

"Ten miles through the woods," answered Jim Lovelace, 
"then strike a road and go like hell." 

"Come on." 

Fbr full ten miles, it seemed to us, we kept a lively trot 
over hog paths, no paths at all, up and down hills, along the 
dry beds of streams, through the turning rows of cornfields 
and over fresh stubbles before we came to a road. When 
we did our gait satisfied even Jim Lovelace. 

Not long after reaching the road I awoke and found 
myself standing all alone. In my sleep I had drawn my 
bridle-rein. Charlie had learned obedience to the slightest 



WE LEAVE THE REGIMENT 211 

indication of my will and he was now standing as still as 
death. Giving him a signal for a test of his speed — he< had 
speed as well as endurance — I saw before me, after a mile or 
two, two forks of a road of apparently equal travel. No 
sound of horses' hoofs could be heard. My ear on the ground 
heard nothing. The only thing to do was to make a haphaz- 
ard selection and if a killing run of three or four miles didn't 
find the boys, to return and try the other fork. The first 
guess was right. Later in the night the same luck, in all 
the details, struck me. In neither instance had my absence 
been noticed. We were traveling, not talking. 

Between midnight and one o'clock the guide halted us. 
For an hour at least we had been traversing an open coun- 
try — a raw prairie, for all we knew, the starlight revealing 
no tree, fence or other landmark, 

"Men, we are now about one hundred yards from the 
North Missouri railroad. The crossings are patroled every 
day. If you don't want to be followed you'd better turn 
out to the right and cross the track singly, forty or fifty feet 
apart. You can cross anywhere along there ; there is no 
cut, but a fill of not over a foot. If our tracks are seen the 
supposition will be that they were made by loose horses on 
the range. At about this distance on thft other side of the 
railroad we can come together and return to our road. 

We followed directions and found the railroad to be as 
described by the guide. 

It must have been three o'clock when the guide halted 
us. For miles and miles the road had been through a forest 
and every yard of the way seemed in the dim light a pic- 
ture of the like preceding space. 

"Go down this road two miles, as near as you can judge, 
turn into the woods on either side, tie your horses and 
go to sleep. When you awake, go to the first house for 
grub and horse feed. You will be safe. There'll not be 
a Union man within five miles of you." 

"How far wiU we be from Nineveh ? " 



212 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"About three mileB. It will take a breakneck gallop for 
me to cross the North Missouri before sunrise, and I'm 
not going to break step until I pass it. Good by." 

He shot out of sight like a ball out of a twelve-pounder. 

The ground where we flung ourselves was velvety and 
cool; the sleep which followed the sweetest that ever came 
to tired brain and muscle. 

Early in the afternoon I roused Ben Vansel with the 
reminder that it was time to hunt for grub. In two hours 
we had an abundant supply of substantials and delicacies 
prepared by gentle and beautiful beings where every 
breath was a prayer for the success of our cause. The 
various forms of objurgation which responded to the efforts 
of Ben and myself to arouse the sleepers turned into bless- 
ings on sight of the inviting 'spread. It fell to Sam Minor 
and Henry Lovelace to get com for the horses. Sweet 
sleep again. f 

At sunset a council of war was held and work for each 
one was mapped out. I and one or two others left the 
camp shortly after night fall, each in different directions. 
From Nineveh to Millwood I traveled a very familiar route, 
but the night was much darker than the preceding and 
there were several points on the prairie where I had to 
dismount and from near the ground scan the outline of 
the woods on the left to make sure I had not wandered 
far from the road. By that guide I found without much 
difficulty the spot where the road entered the heavy wood 
skirting the two forks of Lead Creek. When I reached 
the village of Millwood every house was dark and quiet. 
Passing my home I kept on in the lane for nearly half a 
mile, opened a gate and followed a line of fence northward 
to a point of woods, a dozen yards inside of which I hitched 
my faithful Charlie. Fifteen minutes sufficed to reach the 
house as dark as it was. Entering by the rear I noise- 
lessly ascended the stairway to my oldest brother's room. 
His first words were the inquiry, 



WE LEAVE THE REGIMENT 213 

"You are not wounded ? " 

"No." 

"The only safe place for Charlie is in the little tongue 
of woods on the Uncle Bob place across from our old pond." 

"That's where he is now." 

A few words for the arrangement of tomorrow and I re- 
turned to my rendezvous. To my surprise I could not 
find my horse. I knew I was on the right spot; I listened 
intently, walked to and fro with outstretched arms, but 
heard nothing and came in contact with nothing except 
the growth of the forest. The saddle would be a good 
pillow and it would be more comfortable to lie on the 
blanket, but imder the circumstances I could sleep very 
well without either. When I awoke at sunrise I was lying 
within five feet of Charlie. When I approached him his 
only recognition was a gentle pressure of his muzzle against 
my shoulder. 

My father and mother came to see me early in the morn- 
ing. My father gave me a long and earnest talk about 
the situation. The militia were scouring the country vigor- 
ously. They were impressing horses, searching every house 
for guns of every description* and were beginning to take 
supplies from Southern men. These operations were keep- 

^James Wilson, who was bom and lived the greater part of his life eight 
miles from where I am writing this narrative. In Prince George's County, 
Maryland, and who was then living four miles south of where I was born. 
In Uncoln County, Missouri, was standing at his front gate one day when 
a squad of fifty militiamen rode np and the oflScer In command Inquired 
if he had a gun. 

"I have; It Is a double-barreled shotgun and a good one." 

"Will you please bring it out? We are ordered to take all guns from 
Sonthern sympathizers." 

"If yon are ordered to take my gun, you are not going to obey orders. I 
paid for my gun and I'm going to keep it." 

"We can't make any excepnona." 

"I think you can. My gun Is loaded and It is not loaded with blrdshot 
either." 

"We had as lief take a loaded gun as an unloaded one." 

"Yon might ordinarily, but not In this case." 

"Oh, Mr. Wilson, hurry np: we have no time to waste." 

"If you are In a hurry go down that road right now. There is only one 
way for you to get my gun: Kill me, but while yon are doing It I will 
get two of you — one for each barrel." 

Bvery man In the sonad knew Mr. Wilson. His oldest son and namesake 
was the major of their battallooi; his next son, John, the idol of his life, 
was a lieutenant in the Confederate army. He was seventy years old, five 
feet two Inches high and weighed ninety pounds. His word on any subject 
was never doubted. He kept bla gun. The militia company was unwilling 
to pay the price. 



214 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

ing them continually traversing the country and it was 
thought that under this pretense they were actively search- 
ing for Confederate recruits. He regarded the opportunity 
for getting out men as next to nothing and the attempt 
as extra hazardous. He was much opposed to me making any 
effort or remaining in the vicinity or county an hour longer 
than was necessary in preparing for a break to the main 
army. If fate was to be against me in the war he had 
a thousand times rather I should meet it in the army than 
by falling into the hands of the militia. My mother was 
unconcerned about the details, and was indifferent as to 
what course might be followed. In a very earnest tone 
she said to me. 

"Whatever you decide upon, I am only solicitous that 
you do your duty, aud I believe you will." 

Had I done half of what that brave, unselfish, consecrated, 
Grod-fearing woman believed me capable, what a success my 
life would have been ! 

My brother came later and we went over the whole situa- 
tion. I had more confidence in his judgment than in my 
father's, because I thought my father too fearful of my per- 
sonal safety to judge correctly. At the call of Governor 
Jackson he had given his consent for me to join the army, I 
thought not very enthusiastically, but my mother was proud 
that I went. My brother's opinion in the present matter I 
knew was candid and based entirely upon what he believed 
to be the fact. I ended the consultation by saying : 

"Well, I shall strike for Richmond, and I shall be on 
Long Arm prairie at daylight tomorrow on my way." 

My brother took the two guns I had with me — ^the long 
rifle belonging to my father and the Sharpe's rifle taken 
from the field at Moore's Mill and hid them where the pry- 
ing eyes of the militia could never find them. The former 
was restored to its accustomed place after the war and the 
latter I have now. The musket captured at Memphis, and 
which I used in battle, I left with our little company. 



CHAPTEE XVII 
ON TO RICHMOND 

I have always been able to awake at any desired hour no 
matter bow fatigued from loss of sleep. At haH past two 
o'clock Thursday morning I saddled Charlie, just in time 
to reach by easy gait the middle of Long Ann prairie by 
daybreak. This would put me past, in the darkest hours 
of the night, the homes of all my acquaintances of Union 
proclivities, none of whom I was then willing to trust, though 
all of them were my good friends. I intended to reach 
Clarksville about dark; if later and the one or two com- 
panies of Colonel Smart's regiment garrisoning the town 
had posted pickets their suspicion might be directed to 
passers-by, and if earlier it would give some daylight to the 
time elapsing before the arrival of the boat and add to the 
chances of meeting an acquaintance. If the garrison in- 
cluded the company of Captain Wilson, Captain Bartlett 
or Captain McElroy, the first composed entirely and the 
others largely of Lincoln Coimty men, nearly all of whom 
I knew, I would evade all sentries in the darkness and reach 
the wharf at nine o'clock. In either event, the journey would 
be tedious because of the killing of so mnch time. 

In the lane leading to the Watts homestead, on the oldest 
and finest farm in that part of Pike County, I met a very 
black negro, a little past middle age, with a very pleasing 
faee — one of the best specimens of the old time "quality" 
darkey — the kind of man I knew so well how to handle. 
He had a bucket of io&-water in his hand for the hands 
in the field near by, who were sweltering imder the hot 
noon-day sun. 



216 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"How do you do, uncle ? " 

"Sarp'n, massa, tolabul; hope you's well." 

"Thank you, very well, indeed. Hard at it I see, in 
spite of a few gray hairs." 

"Old Ferginny never tires, suh." 

To start the flow of good f ellowsip that was welling up 
in his honest soul, I asked for a drink of ice-water; drank 
it as greedily as the toper does his dram (which was quite 
an efEort, ice^old water being anything but agreeable), 
expatiated on the good it did me and praised his kindness in 
stopping to serve me when I knew the workers in the field 
were suffering from thirst and the heat. I then got 
the information I wished and knew that he knew it was 
correct. The companies of two other captains — names not 
now remembered — were stationed in Clarksville. 

It had been agreed between my brother and myself that 
Charlie should be left in the woods, saddle and bridle off 
and hid at such distance from the road that he would 
emerge not earlier than dusk. It was thought probable 
that he would come home later, and if not, his loss, as 
valuable as he was, would be preferable to the risk of 
trying to sell him. He never came back; he had learned 
obedience in the short campaign too well to go anywhere 
without being directed. When I stripped him I caressed 
him lovingly and bade him good by. From the way he 
pressed his muzzle against my face I was sure that he 
understood what I said. 

Had I met a sentry in my walk of two miles I had my 
story all arranged, but none was encountered. Walking 
very leisurely I held up at a store opposite to where the 
boat would land on the way from Keokuk to St. Louis. 
Sitting on the front porch, keeping rather in the shade of 
some piled up goods boxes, and engaging enough in conversa- 
tion with the merchant and an occasional loiterer to appear 
natural and unconcerned, notwithstanding the sight, now 



ON TO RICHMOND. 217 

and then, of a Federal uniform, I passed the time until 
the arrival of the boat at ten o'clock. 

The boat was one of the river palaces peculiar to the 
Mississippi before the era of railway development. The 
giddy throng of twelve hundred passengers filled the grand 
saloon with music, mirth and the dance, unmindful that 
horrid war was desolating the land. Remembering the 
possibility of some acquaintance Laving taken passage at 
Louisiana, I kept well in the background. Owing to the 
heavy freight shipments the run to St. Louis consumed 
twenty-four hours. I left the steamer at the earliest busi- 
ness hour Saturday morning and went direct to the Ohio 
and Mississippi Railroad office and bought a ticket to Wash- 
ington via that road and the Baltimore and Ohio. As the 
first train left at four o'clock I repaired to an inconspicu- 
ous hotel in the vicinity and waited imtil the hour. 

Cincinnati was reached at about eight o'clock next morn- 
ing. The conductor informed us that the train for Wash- 
ington would leave at eight o'clock in the evening. I ea- 
quired of him the best hotel and was told that it was the 
Burnett. I registered and asked the clerk if I was in 
time for breakfast. He must have misunderstood my 
question, for he answered shortly but pleasantly, "No." I 
was disappointed, because I wanted a good breakfast and 
did not know where to find it. Going into the first decent 
looking restaurant I got a very sorry one and paid a stiff 
price for it. I attended the Cathedral and was disappointed 
at not seeing Archbishop Purcell, an eminent and scholarly 
prelate who administered the affairs of that diocese and 
province, as bishop and archbishop, for fifty years. The 
Burnett House was filled with Federal generals, colonels, 
majors and captains, coming and going during my stay. I 
found that the movements of General Bragg in Kentucky 
were the cause of much apprehension in the city. 1 
mentally tipped a glass to the artillery officer of Palo Alto 



218 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

and said "Success to you." At train time I asked for my 
bill. Another clerk was at the desk and he snapped out — 

"Six dollars." 

"For dinner and supper? The other clerk told me I 
was too late for breakfast." 

"What train did you come on ? " 

"The Ohio and MississippL" 

"Six dollars." 

Our train reached Washington at nine o'clock Tuesday 
morning. From the conductor I learned that a stage carried 
the mails and passengers to Lower Maiyland three times a 
week, starting from the Kimmel House on Street north, 
between Four-and-a-half and Sixth Sticeta west. The 
stage-coach had gone an hour and I had to wait until Thurs- 
day morning. The "Intelligencer" of next morning 
announced a "war meeting" at the east front of the Oapitol 
that afternoon would be addressed by President Lincoln and 
other prominent speakers. Mr. Kimmel was a host of the 
olden time who wore a swallow-tail coat, mingled freely with 
his guests and waited on the table. I asked him if he were 
going to the meeting. 

"I haven't been that far in thirty years." 

I went early and got within thirty feet of the speaker's 
stand. By the time S. R Chittenden, the raster of the 
Treasury, arose to make a short introductory speech, the 
crowd had grown to three hundred feet behind me. Lin- 
coln followed and spoke for forty-five minutes. Notwith- 
standing his ungainly appearance he had a most pleasant 
delivery and I could have listened to him for hours. I re- 
member how resentful I felt to him for making so agreeable 
an impression on me and depriving me of so large a share of 
the hate I had stored up against him. Ex-GovemorBoutwell, 
of Massachusetts, who had a few days before been appointed 
Commissioner of internal revenue, and wa.s the first incum- 
bent of the office, came next. His speech was a strong one, 



ON TO RICHMOND 219 

but it was exceedingly dry and tiresome. The sun was 
blistering hot, the crowd immovable and I was compelled 
to listen to what I did not believe a word of for two hours. 
General Shields made a short address, followed by James 
S. Rollins. He was the first Missourian I had seen 
in Washington, but under the circumstances I did not 
care to renew my acquaintance with him. The other speak- 
ers were Leonard Swett, of Illinois, Richard W. Thompson, 
of Indiana, and Senator Harlan, of Iowa, but before they 
finished the crowd thinned sufficiently for me to escape. 
Some time later I learned that while I was listening to 
Mr. Lincoln the tragedy of Kirksville was being enacted. 

The next afternoon at three o'clock the stage coach set 
me down at the home of my uncle, Dr. George D. Mudd, 
in the village of Bryantown, Charles County, Maryland. 
Here for three weeks I slept twenty hours out of the twenty- 
four and satisfied my hunger in nearly the same proportion. 

The thrilling experience of running the blockade of the 
lower Potomac, the dangerous crossing of the Rappahan- 
nock at Layton's Ferry in a flat boat laden to the water's 
edge with cavalry horses and manned by a trio of frightened 
negroes, the enthusiasm of entering the capital of the 
Confederacy are not pertinent to this narrative, but there 
is one incident I wish to record for whatever historical 
value it may possess. 

Shortly after receiving my degree in medicine, a study 
I had begun some years before under the tutorship of my 
father, I was assigned to duty as an assistant-surgeon at 
Howard's Grove Hospital a mile out of Richmond on the 
Mechanicsville turnpike.^ This position carried a salary 
of one hundred and ten dollars, the pay of a captain of 
the Infantry Service, a ration and commutations of some- 
thing over five hundred dollars a month. To enable the 



'See appendix N. 



220 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

medical staff to live decently on this sum of Confederate 
money the hospital boarded us for the ration received from 
the Government. In the course of time an acquaintance 
made with two members of the medical staff of Libby 
Prison led to an exchange of visits. I had several oppor- 
tunities of seeing the rations furnished the prisoners. I 
asked my friends why it waa that the ration of the prisoners 
was better than that of the Confederate officers and that 
they were supplied with coffee when we could get none. 
The reply was that the preference was given them by Presi- 
dent Davis's express order. 



OHAPTEE XVIII 
TOM AND STEPHEN 

Early one morning, a few days after my visit home as 
told in the preceding chapter, my oldest brother, who had 
charge of the farm, in going to a field where two of our negro 
mem, Tom and Stephen, were at work, passed through the 
same skirt of bushes where I had hitched my horse the 
previous Tuesday night. While hidden from their view he 
heard my name mentioned and stopped to listen. 

"Tom, you 'member I tole yon 'bout seein' Marse 'Loysius 
tuther night an' we bof 'greed to keep mum, 'feered de word 
might git to de cussed soldiers ?" 

"Yes." 

"Well, I got into a putty tight fix las' night. After I 
done lef you an' coming through Millwood, ole ISfed Jones^ 
an' a lot of sich trash caught me an' he said kinder 'sinua- 
tin', 'Where's 'Loysius Mudd?' I was jes' 'bout to say, 
'N'one of your damn business,' but I caught myse'f an' I 
said 'spec'ful as I could, 'Mr. Jones, you know as well's I 
do he's fightin' de damn Yankees.' He grinned a little at 
dat an' said, 'when was he home las'?' I said, 'not since 
he lef to jine the army. He said, 'Oh, come now; dere's 
a lot o' rebel bushwhackers hidin' in dis neighborhood some- 
There never was a Ned Jones In Millwood. The man mentioned by 
Stepben was a distant relative of mine. His devotion to the cause of the 
Union was the resolt of honest conviction and patriotic impulse and not In- 
flnenced bj considerations of personal advantage. His ancestry was of the 
best, but our negroes classed everybody who difllered with us in politics as 
"white trash." He had many admii-able traits of character, chief among 
them a real charity for all men. But such was the temper of the times 
that he would gladly have delivered me into the hands of the militia at the 
expense of my instant execution, notwithstanding the warm friendship that 
had always existed between us. When I returned home nearly two years 
after Lee s surrender he greeted me, as did all my political enemies, with 
sincere good will. A few years before he died at a very advanced age, 
being in straightened circumstances, he applied to me for the remission of 
a debt and I cheerfully complied with his request. 



222 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

where, an' we know he's 'mong 'em. Didn't you see him?' 
Dat made me as mad as fire. I never did speak dis'spec'ful 
to nobody in my life, but when he done slung dem ugly 
things 'gin Marse 'Loysius, I tell you I hardly could hole 
myse'f. Tom, 'member how dat boy uster like me an' you^ 
An' how he'd ruther play mobbles wid me an' you 'an any- 
body? An' how he uster like to come 'round de quarters 
an when he'di git too sassy an' Nellie'd git her switch how 
he'd run to me, look up in my face an' say, 'Stephen, doan 
let Nellie whip me,' an' when I'd say 'Nellie, let dat boy 
'lone,' he'd say to me, 'Stephen, I like Nellie sometimes 
but I like you all de time.' 'Member dat, Tom ?' " 

" 'Deed I does, Stephen, I kin jes' see him now." 

"Well, Tom; I jes' had a doUar in my pocket, but I'd 
give dat an' glad if I knowed Marse 'Loysius was safe 
from dem sneakin' cusses. I'd a tole him sumpin' fur a 
fac' an' den he'd gone to marster wid my impitence, but I 
betcher marster'd a laughed to hissef." 

He then broke into one of his low musical, prolonged 
laughs, enjoying the vision of his fancy as if it were real. 
Tom, without knowing the force of the "sumpin" that 
Stephen would have said could he have had his way, joined 
in the laugh because nothing gave him more pleasure than 
a defiance of the element he despised and hated. Stephen 
resumed in a very serious tone: 

"Tom, I didn't now how 'twas wid Marse 'Loysius, and' I'd 
ruther stuck my right ban' in de fire an' let it bum off 
'an to hep dem sneakin' cusses to trap him, so I said, 'I 
swear 'fore God I never seed him, an' I know he warn 
gwineter come home widout seein' me : Ole Ned says to me, 
•'Will you take an oath on de Bible? ' Yes, I will; I said. 
Den he said, 'If you swear to a lie, doan you know dat 
I kin put you in de penitensby V I said, 'Yes, I know dat, 
an you kin put me dere if I doan tell de truf.' Den he 
got de Bible, made me put my lef han' on it an' hole up 



TOM AND STEPHEN 223 

my right ban' an' say a long rigennarole.' I didn't bat 
ray eye, kase I was 'termined not to let down 'fore dem chaps. 
Den I said, 'You think you're mighty smart, but I know 
where Marse 'Loysius is dis minute; I hear Marster and 
Missis talk ! ' 'Where is he ? ' said ole Ned, kinder peart. 
'Why,' I tole him, 'he's where you can't git him. If de 
damn Yankees doan git him, he'll be all right, kase you 
all will never go where he is, an' dat's sure; he's in 
Virginny, he is.' Dat satisfied 'em, an' I said to myself 
*I done fooled you now.' Tom !" 

"What you want, Stephen ?" 

"Tom, taint no sin to swear to a lie to save Marse 'Loysius, 
is it?" 

"Swearin' to a lie aint as bad as killin' anybody, is it ? " 

"Course not." 

"Well den, I hear Marster and Marse 'Loysius bof say 
taint no harm to kill Yankees, an' I know dey knows. You 
aint never hear one o' dem say what wa'n't so in your life 
an' you aint gwineter nuther. I doan see as how it kin be 
any harm to swear to a lie to fool de damn Yankees. I 
doan know what Father Regan'd say 'bout it, but sin or 
no sin I'd swear to a string o' lies as long as from here to 
St. Louis to save dat boy. I tell you, Stephen, I got no 
use for de damn Unions, no how." 

Tom was very venomous in his political sentiments. 
Up to the day of his death he never failed to speak of 
those who opposed the South as "de damn Unions." It was 
not because he understood the issues involved in the con- 
tentions of political parties, for he did not. It was with 
him a question of loyalty to "our white folks." It was 
not that he ever heard from them the intemperate language 
which he so freely used. It was because whatever they 
said or did was in his limited understanding right, and 
the contrary was to him incomprehensible. So, what his 
"white folks" believed in he advocated with all the en- 



224 WITH POSTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

thusiasm and vindiotiveness of his fiery temper. Stephen 
was milder in disposition and entirely unresentful, but he 
■was not less decided in his sentiments. The two and their 
ancestors had been slaves in our family for several genera- 
tions and were proud of the fact that none of their family 
had ever been "whipped," except as children and at the 
hand of parents. The grown negro that had to be 
"whipped" was not in their caste. 

My father knew but little of the farm, being engaged 
in the practice of medicine and was for several years a 
partner in a store. Stephen, though younger than Tom, 
was boss of the farm until my older brother became old 
enough to manage. He was of a more even temperament 
and possessed a better judgment and, further, Tom lived 
with his wife and family who were owned by my uncle on 
the adjoining farm. Stephen was a most indulgent boss 
to me and my brothers. In his absence on business or 
from: illness his wife, Nellie, was boss; she was at all times 
boss of the quarters, not that my parents cared to have a 
boss in the quarters, but her forceful character made her 
a natural boss. I then thought, with some reason, that she 
was a very tyrannical boss. The only consolation I ever got 
from my mother was, "If Nellie whipped you, I know you 
deserved it." She was, however, much stricter with the black 
children than with the white. Perhaps this was because she 
liad no children of her own. She had no taste and but 
little adaptability for house work and only came to the 
house in case of the illness of one of the house women. 
She died in March, 1858, during the absence of my father 
and mother on a visit to their old home in Maryland. 
When told that her end was near she received the last 
sacrament of the church with beautiful devotion and resig- 
nation. Her only murmur was, "Oh, if I can just live till 
Marster and Mistis come home ! " Looking back now over 
her life record I think she was one of the best women that 



TOM AND STEPHEN 225 

ever lived. I am sure that no person ever performed duty 
more conscientiously, unselfishly and exactly than she. 

It was the custom in the second and suhsequent years 
of the war for the State militia to make heavy demands 
upon the farmers who were known to be or suspected of 
being Southern sympathizers for wheat, com, oats, hay and 
live stock, to be delivered at headquarters. This was in 
the line of "punishing them for their crimes." Many of 
the victims could not accept this view but maintained that 
the policy was one of robbery for personal gain. With 
some exceptions the morale of the State militia was much 
below that of the Federal soldiery; but it is scarcely prob- 
able that what is now denominated graft exceeded the 
normal rate. In addition to the infliction of these grievous 
burdens ,the militia were continually riding over the country 
in squads or cmnpanies, stopping at the homes of "sympa- 
thizers" and demanding food for themselves and horses. 
The first time they came to our house the house women 
bolted out; running to the field they gave the alarm and 
every negro on the place — ^man, woman and child — ran off. 
My mother did not know what it meant. Was it a pre- 
concerted arrangement? She could not believe it, but the 
thought that the war was developing many unheard of 
causes of action would not down. However, there was 
nothing to do but to accept the situation. If the negroes 
were gone, they were gone, and that was all. It was about 
ten o'clock in the forenoon and, telling the sergeant where 
he would find com and hay for his horses, she and my 
sisters busied themselves cooking for eighty men. Shortly 
before sunset one of the girls was seen cautiously approach- 
ing by the side of a rail fence that led from the woods 
half a mile to the north down to the garden in rear of 
the house; momentarily hiding behind a fence corner and 
then darting rapidly to the next. Seeing no sign of the 
soldiers she came to the house so much excited that with 

(15) 



226 WITR PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

great diflMJulty ooiild she ask, "Is dey gone ? " Being 
assured that they had, she fairly flew across the field and 
was soon out of sight. In about one and a half hours the 
whole troop came in. My mother remonstrated with Ann, 
the head housewoman, for running off and leaving her and 
my sisters to do the cooking for so many men. "I's sorry 
for dat, Miss Clare, but dey tells me de soldiers cah's off 
black people." My mother ridiculed her fears, but Ann 
persisted, " 'Deed, Miss Clare, I can't stay here when dem 
soldiers come. Stephen and Tom say de soldiers aint nothin' 
but poor white trash, no how, and you know, Miss, nobody 
can't put no 'pendence in dat kinder folks for nothin'. We's 
all don© 'greed dat we aint gwineter trust 'em." And they 
never did. 

About a year after the war ended a militia captain, a 
young man of pleasing address, well educated and intelli- 
gent, was introduced to my oldest sister at a ball. During 
the dance he said, "It seems to me. Miss, that I have met 
you before, but I cannot recall when or where." "You 
have, sir ; my mother, my sisters and I had the pleasure on 
two or three occasions to cook dinner for you and some 
eighty or ninety of your men." He changed thet subject of 
conversation. I shall not tell his name, because he and 
his charming wife are among my best friends. 

Near the close of the war the Federal recruiting officers 
in St. Louis were paying a bounty of $1,500 for enlistments. 
Unscrupulous men were going about the coimtry enticing 
negro men from their owners by promises of big pay, fine 
uniforms, good rations and nothing to do except light garrison 
aiity, rushing them into the army and pocketing all the 
boimty money. To forestall the action of these schemers 
my father resolved to test the sentiment of his three men 
fit for military duty and if they were willing to go into 
the army to enUsb them himself and get the $4,500 bounty, 
rather than let it go into the hands of those who had no 



TOM AND STEPHEN 227 

moral right to it. Stephen and George declared that 
nothing could induce them to go into the army. Tom said 
he was willing to go if he could get to the army where 
"Marse 'Loysius" was, but he wouldn't go into the Yankee 
army even if they would kill Viim for not going. My 
father was satisfied that they could not be temptted, and 
he dismissed the subject from his mind. 

My father was, like a great many slaveholders, intensely 
jealous of his constitutional rights and resentful of outside 
interference; but for moral and financial reasons he was 
opposed to slavery. Neither he nor his father ever bought 
a slave, because such an act might increase financial 
burdens — ^it would surely increase the heavily felt burden 
of moral responsibility. They never sold a slave because 
there could be no guaranty of the new owner possessing 
the same sense of responsibility for the slave's moral and 
physical welfare. They never manumitted a slave because 
the struggle of the individual freedman was against hope 
and generally ended in degeneracy. They accepted the 
slaves that became theirs by inheritance as a duty not to 
be conscientiously evaded. They would have gladly seen 
a movement for the gradual freeing of slaves, deeming that 
process better for the slave than the immediate, but this 
must originate from within and not without. I am not 
excusing or condemning this line of thought and action. 
I am only stating facts. 

There came a time when my grandfather had to meet the 
consequence of his folly in endorsing other people's paper 
to the extent of $40,000, If he did not sell some of his 
slaves the law would. To satisfy his conscience in the 
matter he took a number of slaves, by families, to Louisi- 
ana, because only in that State were there many slaveholders 
of the same religious faith as himself and negroes. It re- 
quired three trips and an average stay of one year each 
time to place the slaves with owners of the same faith who 



228 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

he felt assured would keep families intact, look to their re- 
ligiouB training and treat them as kindly as he had done. 
To transport a numher of negroes from Maryland to Lousi- 
ana in that day was a tedious and expensive imdertaking. 
I heard him say that the negroes it took him three years 
to sell in Louisiana he could have sold to a negro buyer at 
his own doorstep for $80,000. I am glad that he paid the 
prioe of his conviction of the duty he owed his slaves. 

When the State of Missouri freed its slaves, my father 
felt relieved of a great weight of responsibility. He called 
his late slaves before him, informed them of their altered 
condition and told them that he would consider what he 
could do for them. Without exception, they said that free- 
dom made no difference to them; that they wanted to go 
on as before. Eight months afterwards he again called 
them together. The war, he said, had left him a poor man 
and he was unable to support them longer. The men with 
their families must look out for themselves. He would 
stand security for them for rent of land and a start in farm- 
ing and that was all he could do for them. The women 
and children he would keep, but he hoped the majority 
of these would soon find employment He admonished 
them all of the necessity of preserving their reputation for 
honesty, truth, industry and devotion to church duties. 
Judging by the manner of their reception of this inteUigenoe, 
it was the saddest day of their lives. 



CHAPTER XIX 
WHERE THE OTHERS WENT 

After Moore's Mill the experiences of the others of our 
little company were generally more eventful than mine. 

Joe Haley, after staying a few days at his home, in the 
southeastern part of Pike County, to recover in some degree 
from the effects of his severe wound at Moore's Mill, went 
through Hlinois into Kentucky, where he remained until 
nearly well. Went to Mississippi, thence to Van Buren, 
Arkansas, where Porter's Brigade was, and joined Captain 
Dorsey's company, along with Walter Merriwether and Sam 
Eastman. He was discharged on account of his health at 
Fort Smith, but shortly afterwards joined the army under 
Price before it marched into Missouri. > On a scout into 
North Missouri he was unable to regain the army and 
attached himself to Bill Anderson's company and was 
present when that noted guerrilla was killed. He then went 
to Quantrell, who would not take him because he was un- 
fit for service. He then went to Jacksonville, Hlinois, 
where he spent the last winter of the war, most of the 
time sick. After the surrender, being eighteen and a half 
years old, he returned home. He married, in 1884, Miss 
Gussie Lee, daughter of Dr. A. D. Shewmak. Has lived 
for many years in Earley County, Georgia. For seven 
years he has been a justice of the peace. 

Arthur W. Clayton was forty-one years old when he 
joined Captain Penny's company. He was wounded in 
both hands at Moore's MiU, and G. W. Jett, of Bowling 
Green, took him to Hlinois, where he remained until fit 
for service. He then went to Virginia and entered the 
army, in what regiment his widow, Mrs. Sarah A. Clayton, 



230 WITH PORTER IN NORTE MISSOURI 

of Foley, Lincoln County, does not remember. Comrade 
Clayton died about aix years ago. 

The day aiter I left the camp near Nineveh, Frank Mc- 
Atee left for a few days stay at home, but was unable to 
rejoin the company owing to the activity of the militia, 
which had effectually closed the route to the southward. 
He struck out westward and after many days of suspense 
feU in with Captaia Ely's company, which he joined. It 
was in retirement, waiting for orders. As did) aU the other 
companies in temporary hiding, scouts were from time to 
time sent out for determining the movements of the militia 
and for making such demonstration as might draw atten- 
tion from the Missouri River. One day while in Balls 
County Major Majors directed Jim Ely to take ten men 
and find out the whereabouts of Colonel Smart's militia. 
The boys, intent on combining f im with duty, induced Webb 
Snead to sneak his banjo out as they went. They forded 
Salt Kiver at Goodwin's mill and went westwardly. At 
near noon they were invited by a farmer to stop for dinner. 
Leaving a picket in the lane in each direction, and at a 
suitable distance from the bouse, for two or three hours they 
enjoyed feasting, music and dancing. At Lick Creek William 
Phillips got leave to stay at his Uncle Harry Fagan's until 
the return of the scout. Ely stopped to have his horse shod 
and told Frank McAtee to take the men to the house of 
a Mr. Martin and get supper, Frank being well acquainted 
with the country. On the way a number of fresh 
horse tracks were noticed and when Martin's was reached 
McAtee and Tom Mcholson were discussing the risk of 
stopping. Dick Underwood insisted there was no danger 
and that he would go a little further up the creek and 
get supper at the home of a Mr. Rogers. "Oh, Dick," 
they said, "there's somebody else there you want to see, 
besides Mr. Rogers." Dick replied good-naturedly and 
went on. In a few minutes the report of firearms was 
heard, and it was afterwards learned that Underwood had 



WHERE THE OTHERS WENT 231 

been captured and shot. The scout dashed toward the 
blachsmith shop, met Ely and galloped on to warn Phillips, 
but found that he had been wounded and captured. When 
the lick Creek post office was reached, a large detachment 
of militia opened fire on them and then the run began in 
earnest. They were in a lane between two fields of heavy 
com. Luckily a good friend, Thomas Fagan, was at home 
and he held wide open his gate for them to escape into the 
com. McAtee held the gate shut and Snead rammed the 
peg in with the butt of his musket so tightly that the 
militia could never displace it. Snead's banjo, tied behind 
his saddle, became loosened and fiyiag up and down in the 
wild run past the cornstalks made jagged notes of discord 
untU the last string was broken. When they came to four 
cross lines of fence the boys said that Eli Bobbett's old gray 
mare's feet didn't touch the ground between them. 

Comrade K. K. Phillips, speaking of the incident, says 
his brother William was wounded by an old friend, who 
took him to his Uncle Harry Pagan's, declining to make 
him a prisoner. 

Frank McAtee says: "A few days afterwards a picket 
came into camp with the news that thirty-five Federals 
were across the river at Goodwin's mill. The Major 
directed Captain Harry Knight to take thirty-five men, 
of which I was one, and scout toward the village of Cincin- 
nati, and Lieutenant CHnt Burbridge with the same number 
to go in the opposite direction, and coming together to 
close in on the enemy. The militia was from New London 
and was commanded by Captain South. They stopped at 
the home of James Leake and ordered dinner. They 
arrested Sam Stevens as a sympathizer, but while Stevens 
was saddling his horse Burbridge and his men came in sight 
and opened fire. As they started to leave two bullets 
struck their flagstaff. The color sergeant dropped it and 
ran off with the others. I will not tell his name, because 
he was an old friend and neighbor of mine. Sam Stevens 



232 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

stayed at kome and helped to eat the dinner. It was a 
hot day and two of their horses gave out. One of the 
men jumped up on a hay stack and was helping a man 
and boy at work but forgot to take off his uniform, which 
was a white cloth around hie hat, and Burbridge brought 
him to camp. We heard the firing and Captain Knight 
urged us on at full speed. We found another horse lying 
in the road near Sam Bell's and knowing that BeU belonged 
to the militia Captain Knight had Mrs. Bell call her husband 
so that we could go back to the postoffice before the rebels 
got there. She blew the horn and BeU stepped out of the 
brush right into the muzzles of our guns, and we took him 
to camp. The two prisoners seemed to enjoy the joke 
as much as we did. Afterwards, while I was a prisoner in 
New London, it was told me that on the retreat Captain 
South, having the best horse, got in ahead of any of his 
men, and the next day asked them if they did not think 
they had made a strategic movement." 

When Frank was captured he was with another scout 
He was sent to New London and then to Hannibal. While 
at the latter place his name was put in the hat out of which 
were drawn the names of prisoners to be sent to Palmyra 
to make the ten shot by McNeil for the abduction of AUsman, 
the other five having been selected by Strachan from the 
Palmyra prison. Frank was shortly afterwards sent to St. 
Louis for a long stay in the old Gratiot Street prison. He 
gives a vivid account of prison life and of the many at- 
tempts to escape, a number of the prisoners preferring death 
to the tortures of himger and cold. He saw Captain Ab 
Grimes^ put into the dungeon preparatory to his execution 
as a spy, but the sly captain escaped and is living yet. He 
saw a Confederate Captain escape by falling in line with 
the retiring guard after securing suitable clothing by bribery. 
He has forgotten his name, but it was Judge E. L. Mau- 



'See appendix O. 



WHERE THE OTHERS WENT 233 

pin, now a prominent citizen of Mobile, Alabama, a native 
of Boone County, Missouri, and at that time a gallant cap- 
tain in the Confederate army. His escape prevented his 
being shot as a spy. Frank McAtee now lives in Portland, 
Oregon. 

The little remnant of our company, finding reconnoitering 
next to impossible on account of the vigilance of the militia, 
made its way cautiously, under the leadership of Moses 
Beck, back to Monroe County, rejoined Porter and was 
assigned to Major Snyder's battalion. Beck was an ener- 
getic, prosperous farmer about forty years of age. His edu- 
cation was limited; his convictions, political and religious, 
intense; his integrity spotless. He was unconscious of 
fear, unsparing pf self, considei*ate of others, modest and 
gentle in demeanor. 

It was reported that there was a large number of mus- 
kets stored at Ashley, Pike County, awaiting distribution 
to the militia about to be enrolled. Snyder was sent to 
get them. In the light of the very meager information ob- 
tainable about this undertaking, it seems the management 
was bad. 

The Missouri Democrat of August 30 says : 

"At daylight on Thursday morning last a party of guer- 
rillas, one hundred and fifty in number, attacked a small 
detachment of State militia, some thirty in number, en- 
camped at Ashley, Pike County. The fight had lasted about 
one hour when the rebels sent a flag of truce (the bearer of 
which was the notorious Captain Beck) with the following 



Aiigust 28, 1862. 
CoMMAin>iiirG Officer : 

We demand surrender, unconditional, of arms. Your men 
will be paroled. 

COLOWELS POETEE AND BtJEBEIDGE, 

Majoe Snydee, 

Commanding Division. 



234 WITH POUTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

To which Captain Puree, commanding the State militia, 

made the following reply : 

Augtist 28, 1862. 

Colonel Poetee ahd othees : 

Can't comply with your request. Your men should re- 
spect your own messenger. 

W. H. Ptjese, 
Captam, Commanding. 

"The allusion in Captain Purse's note to 'respecting their 
own messenger,' referred to the enemy shooting at our men 
and mortally wounding Beck, who was on his way back 
to his own lines with Captain P's reply. There were two 
rebels killed and left on the ground, of whom Beck was 
ona Several wounded were carried off. One of the State 
troops was killed — ^Mr. George Trower — and five wounded. 
Mr. Trower was not killed in the fight but was shot after- 
wards, by being decoyed by some of the secesh citizens to 
the edge of the town and then deliberately killed. After 
the receipt of Captain Purse's reply the rebels fled in every 
direction. Our informant, who was in the fight, states that 
as he came toward Louisiana he met four htmdred or five 
hundred troops, tmder Colonel Anderson and Fa^, going 
to reinforce Ashley." 

The reader of the foregoing account will be puzzled as 
to how Captain Purse knew before writing his note declin- 
ing to surrender that the bearer of his note while return- 
ing with it was shot by his friends. But everything went 
that was calculated to throw discredit on the rebels. The 
report of Captain Purse to Colonel George W. Anderson 
makes no mention of this incident: 

"We were attacked about daylight this morning by the 
enemy. Our loss, one killed and five wounded. We have 
found two of the enemy's dead, one of them being Moses 
Beck, captain. Also two of their wounded. We are satis- 




DAVIS WHITESIDE 



WHERE THE OTHERS WENT 235 

fied the brush around is swarming -with them. Will report 
fully as soon as possible. 

"W. H. PUESE, 

"Captain, Commanding." 

If a demand to surrender was sent it was not bj the hands 
of Captain Beck. Beck was not shot by his own men. 
Sam Minor was standing by him when he was shot. He 
says that Snyder was managing badly and seemed not 
to know what to do; that Beck was directing the loading 
of a wagon with hay for use as a portable fortification. 
As he stepped from behind the stack he received his death 
wound. He loosened his money belt, containing gold, and 
gave it with his revolver to Sam. He lived only a few 
minutes. Davis Whiteside was mortally wounded about the 
same time and a little later Henry Lovelace was wounded, 
but not severely enough to be left on the field. Henry 
Lovelace was the only member of Peimy's company I have 
seen since the war. A successful physician, a man of the 
highest integrity and of most lovable disposition, he was my 
neighbor in Lincoln County for many years. He and his 
brother James Lovelace, of Montgomery County, have been 
dead about twenty years. 

Sam Minor knows nothing of any demand having been 
made for a surrender. The other man killed was named 
Blue and was from Pike Coimty — ^not a member of our 
company. The name of the other wounded man left on the 
field is unknown. 

I know nothing of the military capacity of Captain Purse. 
Personally he was greatly respected as a good man and 
good citizen. Davis Whiteside lived several days after 
being wounded and until the end he was tenderly nursed 
by Mrs. Purse. I have been told that the militia — perhaps 
by Captain Ptarse's order — ^placed Beck's body just as it 
was in a plain coffin and gave it decent burial, and that 



236 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

several years afterwards when the family exhumed it for in- 
terment in the family ground near Truxton, Lincoln County, 
they found several hundred dollars in greenbacks in his 
pocket. 

After the Ashley disaster the remainder of our little com- 
pany scattered and followed Colonel Porter's instructions 
to get through the lines as best we could. 

Sam Minor scouted around on Indian Creek and in the 
early Fall went into Boone County and ran into the Fed- 
erals at Eockport. He told them he was a poor farmer's 
boy going to Columbia to try and work his way through the 
Agricultural College. As he looked bo innocent they let 
him go. Sam had joined Colonel Caleb Dorsey's regiment 
December, 1861, and in the disbandment after the Mt. Zion 
battle he hid in a house which was searched that night 
by the Federals. He escaped by getting into the trundle 
bed with the children and passing himself off as a ten year old. 
He, Pal Penn, John Bowles and two otiiers then made for 
the Missouri River at Arrow Bock, swam their horses across 
mid the floating ice, ran into Federals and swam back. 
Early in 1863 he joined Colonel Jackman's force and got 
to the main army. Several of the boys made Calhoun 
County, Illinois — a safe rebel rendezvous during nearly the 
whole war — ^the base of preparation for getting through the 
lines. 




From left to right are — Samuel O. Minor, living; 
James Lovelace, dead; Nicholas Johnson, shot at 
Ashley, Mo., a prisoner; Charles Wrenn, killed in 
battle of Corinth, Miss. 



CHAPTER XX 
CAPTAIN S. B. PENNY 

Sylvester Baesman Peimy was bom March 28, 1836, in 
Baltimore County, Maryland,^ eighteen miles west or north- 
west of the city of Baltimore, at his Grandfather Baesman's 
place — ^land that had been inherited through four genera- 
tions and now in possession of the sixth generation of the 
same name — Baesman. His ancestor received a patent for 
it in 1681,* and another in 1741, the two granfa making 
fifteen hundred acres. 

Captain Penny's great-grandfather opened a large farm, 
bought a number of slaves, some of them from the trading 
ships. He was one of the founders of Methodism in this 
country, and a very devout Christian. Shortly before his 
death he freed every slave he had and the deed of manu- 
mission is on record at Westminster, Maryland. He was 
one of the contributors to the building of Stone's chapel at 
Westminster, the second Methodist church built in America. 

Mrs. Mary Wright, Eolia, Pike County, one of the three 
surviving sisters of Captain Penny, writes: "My father 
was bom in Baltimore County, Maryland, in 1800, mar- 
ried in 1828. There were fourteen children bom, eight 
girls and six boys. Three boys died in infancy and two 
in young manhood. My brother. Captain Penny, was our 
last and for years our only brother. My father was given 
a poetoffice under the William Heniy Harrison administra- 
tion, which he kept until he left for the West. It was 
called Harrisonville, twelve miles from Baltimore on what 



•'About forty miles nortli of where this narrative Is written. 
•Shortly after my ancestor came to Maryland. 



238 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

was then called the Liberty road. In 1846 my father, 
mother and ten children, the oldest fifteen years and the 
youngest one month old, left our home and started over- 
land for Missouri, with two wagons and seven horses. After 
what we children thought a very eventful journey we reached 
St. Louis in October. The weather was getting cool and 
my father considered it prudent to remain in St. Louis tiU 
Sj>Ting before going to Pike County, which was his desti- 
nation before leaving Maryland. In 1849 he bought a part 
of the old Huff farm on the Salt Kiver road, three miles 
west of PrairieviUe, where my parents lived until 1870, 
when they nmde a home in Edgewood. 

"My mother was also bom in Baltimore County, in 1807. 
She died in 1892; father in 1884. My brother, Wes, 
joined Captain Archie Bankhead's company at the first calL 
Early in 1862 he raised a company and joined Porter. At 
Moore's Mill, July 28, 1862, near the dose of the battle 
he was struck in the stomach by a cannister ball. I under- 
stand that Colonel Porter sent bim word to retreat, but he 
did not get it for some time after the others had left and 
his little company was about surrounded. He lived a 
short time. He had eighty dollars in gold in his belt. He 
took this off and gave it to a Federal officer with a request 
that it be sent to his father. Fayette Turner says this 
officer was General Guitar, but I have my doubts about that. 
Wes was taken to a house nearby and a kind woman wa« 
about to place a pillow under his head but a Federal officer 
would not allow it and cursed her for treating the rebels 
more kindly than the Federals. Wes said to thia officer, 
TTou have killed me, but there are plenty of others to take 
my place.' Wes was taken up and put in a coffin and 
buried right there in the same graveyard where they found 
him. It was right dose to a farmhouse owned by a Mr. 
Strother, but he sold it not long after the war. Mr. H. C. 



CAPTAIN 8. B. PENNY 239 

Gibbs brought Wes's horse and all its trappings home, but 
the belt with the eighty dollars in gold never came to hand." 

Mrs. Wright may well doubt the statement that General 
Guitar got Captain Penny's belt of gold. Guitar never 
got it. There was an effort made a few years after the 
war by a number of Confederates in Callaway County to 
trace this matter, and Guitar must have known of it. If, 
however, General Guitar had received the belt and for- 
gotten the name and address of Captain Penny's father 
he would, at first opportunity, have made proper inquiry, 
and this remark applies to every Federal officer of any 
note that fought us that day. Not one of them would 
have violated the promise made a dying prisoner. Captain 
Penny must have given his belt to some dishonest subaltern, 
or else to some officer who forgot the address and who 
was killed before he had a chance to learn it. 

Mrs. Annie G. Edwards, of Dameron, Lincoln County, 
writes: "My father, H. C. Gibbs, went with Mr. Penny 
to bury his son. The body was but slightly covered with 
earth, which they removed. As they gazed on the manly 
form, with tears the aged father said, 'My name died when 
he died.' Mr. S. F. Jett, of Edgewood, Pike County, a 
rebel soldier and an excellent man, married Miss Sue Penny, 
who died about two years ago. The old people lived with 
them until they died. Mr. Jett has an enlarged picture of 
Captain Penny hanging in his family room." 

The following lines on the death of Captain Penny were 
written by Mrs. Laura Lewis Carr, one of Pike County's 
most charming women. For her active sympathy for the 
cause of the Confederacy she was banished from Missouri 
by the Federal authorities and escorted into the Confederate 
lines by way of Kentucky. The hardships of her imprison- 
ment and banishment aggravated a disease of the heart and 
she died before the end of the war : 



240 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Mother! raise thy drooping head 

Bowed beneath the heavy blow. 
Which has crushed thy bleeding heart 

As It laid thy nobled low; 
Look beyond death's gloomy wave. 

Mother, raise thy head in pride! 
For his name is hallowed now, 

'Twas for liberty he died. 

Father! though thy son was lost 

In the summer of his days, 
Listen to the thronging voice 

Of a Nation's grateful praise; 
Thine the sacrifice and tears 

Sadly laid on Freedom's shrine, 
But his Immortality, 

And his glory, too, are thine! 

Sisters! though thy loving tones 

Cannot wake him from his sleep. 
Cannot thrill his pulse again, 

Gentle sisters, do not weep; 
For the land for which he died 

Claims her loved ones as her own. 
Leads them to the patriot's grave 

Where a Nation's heart shall mourn. 

Gallant Soldier! rest in peace! 

With the green sod on thy grave. 
Till the marble shaft upreared 

Points us to the True and Brave! 
Little need! for every heart 

Cherishes his noble name 
Linked with proud immortal words 

Graven there by Love and Fame. 




CAPTAIN SYLVESTER B. PENNY 



CHAPTER XXI 
FROM NEWARK TO KIRKSVILLE 

The history of the transactions of Colonel Porter in 
North Missouri, after the battle of Moore's Mill, is told 
mainly from the recollections of comrades who followed 
him to the end. The defeats he sustained and the changes 
in plans frequently made necessary by circumstances, 
affected neither his zeal, his vigilance, his buoyant faith, 
nor the efficiency and loyalty of his men. According to 
reports he was many times exterminated, scattered, de- 
serted and betrayed, but he lost not a recruit except by 
the fortune of war. Checkmated here in a few hours he 
struck a luckless detachment in another county. Routed 
at one point, the next day he captured a garrisoned town 
fifty miles away. In the midst of it all he was directing 
Southward an endless stream of men. The rigid enroll- 
ment order of Governor Gamble overwhelmed him with 
unarmed men at an unfortunate moment, but his resource- 
ful intellect and his marvellous vigor robbed disaster of 
its meaning. 

Comrade A. J. Austin, of Goss, Monroe County, writes: 
"I was plowing tobacco on Friday, July 25, 1862, when 
my father came home from Paris with the news that the 
Governor had ordered everybody between the ages of eigh- 
teen and forty-five to join the militia and, as I was nine- 
teen, my mother said she had rather I would go with the 
rebs. That settled it. I left home next day and fell in 
with fifty or more men that night. Sunday night we left 
camp at Bradley's Old Mill site on Salt River, and Monday 



(16) 



242 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

night^ we joined Colonel Porter at Brace's old camp on 
the Elk Fork of Salt Eiver. From there we went to 
Newark, Knox Coimty, arriving on the morning of Friday, 
August 1. Here there were two' hundred Federals camped. 
Colonel Porter divided hia force, sending between four 
himdred and five hundred men around to attack from the 
north. These were put under command of Joe Thompson, 
who had been sent by Colonel Porter two days before to 
capture Paris, which he did without trouble. Colonel 
Porter with the remainder of the force attacked Newark 
on the south, but by some means the other detachment 
failed to show up. We dismounted and charged up a slant 
of about two hundred and fifty yards. In this charge my 
brother, R. D. W. Austin, and Raymond Shearer were 
kiUed, and Aleck Smith was wounded — all from this 
locality. A young man named Major with fifteen or twenty 
mounted men charged and lost one kUled, Thomas Noonan. 
The Federals took refuge in a brick school house and it 
took three hours' fighting to dislodge them. They refused 
our invitation to surrender and Colonel Porter loaded a 
wagon with hay and had it pushed up against the house 
when up went the white flag." 

The Paris Mercury, of August 8, 1862, says: "When 
we went to press last Thursday evening (July 31), Colonel 
McNeil, with some three hundred and fifty or four hundred 
men and three pieces of artillery, was in this place, having 
arrived here early in the morning after a forced march of 
several successive days and nights' travel in search of Colonel 
Porter. The horses and men looked jaded and fatigued. 
Learning that Colonel Porter was encamped at some point 
ten or twelve miles east of this place, about eight o'clock 



'This must be a mistake. Colonel Porter left camp near Moore's Mill tTro 
hours after dark Monday evening, four or five hours after the battle, and 
traveled at least twenty mllea In donbllng on his tracks westward and east- 
ward. It was not possible for him to go northward forty miles In time to 
camp for the night. It must have been Tuesday night that the Junction 
was made. 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRKSVILLE 243 

he made a start far the aforesaid camp, but before getting 
out of town the alarm was given that Porter was coming, 
and preparations were at once made for his reception. But 
the alarm^ proved a false one and quiet was restored. 
Toward evening Colonel McNeil received reliable infor- 
mation that Porter had broken up camp and with 5iome two 
thousand men had started, at two o'clock, in a northerly- 
direction — and immediately after supper he resumed the 
pursuit. The next (Friday) evening Major Caldwell with 
a portion of his own command, part of Colonel Smart's 
brigade of Pike County, part of Colonel Guitar's regiment 
and some of Merrill Horse, numbering in all about one 
thousand men, arrived at this place, and the next morn- 
ing struck north to the support of Colonel McNeil, the two 
commands forming a junction at some point below Shelby- 
ville. Colonel Porter struck directly for Newark, where a 
company of Major Benjamin's command, some seventy-five 
strong, imder Captain Lear, were stationed. He detailed 
a part of his command to take this company in; they were 
encamped outside of the town and he ordered a company 
of infantry to get in their rear to prevent their escepe to 
the brush, and a company of cavalry to get between them 
and the town and prevent them taking shelter in the houses ; 
but these two divisions, it is said, failed to act in concert, 
and the cavalry charging directly upon the camp received 
the full charge of the company; the latter then made good 
their retreat to a large brick church, when Colonel Porter 
immediately demanded their surrender, stating his force and 
his, ability to take them and his desire to save any unneces- 
sary loss of life. The demand was acceded to and Captain 
Lear and his men delivered up their arms — whereupon 
Colonel Porter addressed them a few kind words, restored 
to the officers their sidearms and then paroled them. In 
this action Colonel Porter had eight killed and thirteen 
wounded, and the Federals four kUled and seven wounded. 



244 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

two of the latter having since died. It is also reported that 
several of Colonel Porter's men were mortally wounded. 
The most of the killed and wounded on his part were citi- 
zens of the county. Among those killed on tiie spot were 
W. T. Noonan, Richard Austin, John Harrison and a 
young Mr. Shearer.^ When last heard from, Colonel Por- 
ter was encamped on the Fabius, some ten or twelve miles 
beyond Kewark, and the Federal forces were dose enough 
at hand to drive in Parter's pickets — ^both seemingly await- 
ing for reinforcements before coming to battle. Colonel 
Porter's force was variously estimated at three thousand to 
four thousand, and the Federal force about two thousand. 
A bloody battle in that quarter seems immineint. 

The History of Shelby County says : "Many of Porter's 
men exposed themselves needlessly and paid dearly for it. 
At last Porter had prepared two wagons loaded heavily 
with hay, which he proposed running up against the biuld- 
ings — ^Presbyterian church, Bragg's store, and the Masonic 
hall — setting on fire and smoking out hia game. A flag 
of truce was sent first, demanding a surrender. Captain 
Lair himself came out, saw Porter, and the two talked the 
matter over. The militiamen surrendered. The terms 
were very liberal. The Federals were to be paroled and 
released, their private property was not to be taken from 
them, but they were to lose their tents, arms, etc. The 
prisoners were well treated. Captain Bob Hager, of 
Monroe, cursed Lieutenant Warmsley for being a d — ^n 
nigger thief; but nobody was hurt, and there was no hint 
at retaliation upon Captain Lair or any of his men for the 
killing of Major Owen, a former fellow soldier of Porter's, 
major of the regiment in which he had been lieutenant- 
colonel. Porter and his men camped in Newark that night, 
and it was not until next morning that the prisoners 



'Raymond Shearer, brother of Mrs. James A. McAtee, of Hnnnewell. 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRKSVILLE 245 

were paroled and released. The Federal loss in the Newark 
fight was four killed, six wounded and seventy-two prisoners; 
of the latter forty were of Company K, and thirty-two of 
Company L. The killed were Lieutenant Valentine Lair, 
a son of Captain Lair, and acting adjutant of the battalion, 
and Orderly Sergeant Francis Hancock, of Palmyra, both 
of Company E, and John Downing and James Berry of 
Company L. The Confederate loss was reported at from 
ten to twenty killed and thirty severely woimded. Eight 
are known to have been buried. In the Newark fight the 
men from Shelby bore a conspicuous part. Among the 
Confederates killed was Captain J. Q. A. Clements,' who 
fell dead at the head of his company, shot through the 
brain, and Lieutenant Tom West of the same company, 
who had his leg crushed by a mmie ball and amputated, 
and who died in a day or two. Captain Clements was an 
intelligent, well-informed gentleman who was something of 
a lawyer. After his death Captain Samuel S. Patton took 
command of the Company. Li Head's Company two Shelby 
County men were killed; Anderson Tobin, who lived ins the 
Southwestern part of the county, was shot through the head 
and died instantly, and Kesterson, of Walkersville, was killed 
by a ball through the body." 

These haJf-unwilling tributes to the personal worth of 
so many men who gave everything and braved everything 
for the Confederate cause are testimony of the line upon 
which Missouri sentiment divided. There were a number 
of high-class men in the Missouri Federal militia, but of 
the vast majority the less said of them the better. The 
cream of the State espoused the cause of the South. Ben 
Loan, rude but forceful, knew there was such a thing as 
"good society" and hated it, as he hated Southern senti- 
ment, because in Missouri where one was found there also 



'Only two or tliree days before Caotaln Clements had raised a company of 
eighty men In twenty-four hours In the western part of Shelby County. 



246 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

was the other. While in command of the Central District 
of Missouri he bewailed the situation in a communication 
to General Curtis, War of the Rebellion, series I, Volume 
13, page 806 : "The inhabitants are generally disloyal, and 
a large majority of them are actively so. They are fierce, 
overbearing, defiant and insulting; whilst the Union spirit 

is cowed and disposed to be submissive 

Another reason that has induced me to have these disloyal 
persons arrested is to break up the social relations here. 
Good society here, as it is termed, is exclusively rebel. 
Another motive is that the traders, merchants and bankers 
who transact the business of the country are all traitors. 
. . . . It requires a high and noble patriotism that 
can bear the comparison .... It is much easier 
to catch a rat with your hands in a warehouse filled with 
a thousand flour barrels than it is to catch a band of 
guerrillas where every or almost every man, woman and 
child are their spies, pickets, or couriers." With the ex- 
ception of the Sixteenth lUinois Regiment, Colonel Robert 
F. Smith,^ and the unspeakable Elansas troops, fit successors 
to the Sharp's rifle evangelists, all the Federal troops 
coming into Missouri from other States, either as regiments 
or parts of Missouri regiments, generally conducted war in 
an honorable way and were good soldiers. A comparison 
of their record with that of the Missourians who went 
into the Federal militia does violence to my State pride. 

The movements of Colonel Porter from the evening of 
July 28 'to the morning of August 6, kept McNeil in a 
ferment of unrest and perplexity. Separate detachments 
of his force captured the garrison towns of l^^ewark and 
Canton, with valuable military property, and occupied the 
town of Kirksville; other towns were threatened, mystify- 
ing feints were made here and there; junctions and de- 



'See appendix P. 



FROM NEWARK TO EIRE8VILLE 247 

tachments; marches and countemiarclies. His trusted 
agents, undeterred by the galloping, vulturous militia,^ 
kept him informed at every point, and his own scouts and 
couriers kept the bridle path ablaze. Colonel Porter left 
Newark at nine o'clock Saturday morning, going northward, 
a short time before McNeil and Benjamin came in on the 
Shelbyville road, A mile from town the Confederate rear 
guard and the Federal advance guard had a sharp skirmish 
with trifling loss. McNeU awaited reinforcement at Newark 
and Porter on the western line of Lewis County was joined 
by the force returning from the capture of Canton, under 
Colonel Cyrus Franklin.^ With this battalion was lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Frisby H. McCuUough, who had been very 
successful in procuring enlistments. He was known to be 
in favor of pushing on to the main army in Arkansas at 
the first opportunity. At a conference of officers it was 
decided that a very early day was opportune. The com- 
bined force numbered about two thousand, one-fourth well 
ai-med, something over another fourth fairly to poorly 
armed, and the remainder unarmed. With Captain Tice 
Cain's Schuyler County men already in the field — ^well 
officered and almost veterans they were — and other organ- 
ized companies and unorganized squads ready to go into 
service, and principally in the Missouri Eiver counties, an 
army of three thousand or four thousand men — ^magnificent 
material for war, much of it smarting under the outrages 
of the murderous militia — could be carried south. The 
passage of the Missouri Kiver was a problem. General 
Schofield, speaking of the situation at this juncture, says in 
his official report,' "Determined to destroy this force, and 
not in any event allow it to join the enemy south of the 



>The History of Shelby Connty Pase 752 gleefnUy tells of McNeil follow- 
Ine Porter an^ camping that night on Tronblesome Creek, on the farm of a 
'aecesh- gentleman named Kendrick, whom they 'ate out of house and 

'"'"Solonel Franklin was a citizen of Iowa, but a native of Virginia. 
•War of the Rebellion, Berlea 1, Volume 13, page 13. 



248 WITE PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

river, I caused all boats and other means of crossing the 
Missouri River and not under guard of my troops to be 
destroyed or securely guarded, and stopped all navigation 
of the river except by strongly guarded boats, and for a 
short time imder convoy of a gunboat extemporized for 
the purpose of patrolling the river." Nevertheless, inside 
of a week or ten days arrangement could be made for a 
boat to happen along. To conceal this purpose and to draw 
troops from the river counties a feint in force would be 
made, involving perhaps a bloody battle. Memphis was 
agreed upon, but presently Captain Cain's courier came in 
with the news of his occupancy of Kirksville, and the forces 
headed for that point. 

Comrade J. T. Wallace, of Oakland, California, writes: 
"I was sworn into the Confederate service July 31, 1862, 
by Colonel Frisby H. McOullough, in a camp on Trouble^ 
some creek, near Eev. P. N. Haycraft's, about two miles from 
SteffenviUe, Lewis County. The next day we moved to 
'Sugar Camp,' two or three miles north of Monticello, where 
we joined Colonel Franklin's raiment Even before we 
were fully organized we had to move on, for a strong State 
militia force under McNeil and Rogers was close after us. 
Before we left this camp Colonel Joe Porter joined us. We 
had double-barreled shotguns and squirrel rifles. In Por- 
ter's command there were, I think, three hundred or four 
hundred muskets, the rest, shotguns and rifles. I belonged 
to Captain John Hicks's company, of Marion Coimty. The 
flrst lieutenant was James Bowles of the same county. I 
was nineteen years old, with but little experience with the 
world, fresh from the farm from where I had been prepar- 
ing to enter La Grange College, the goal of my youthful 
ambition. We left Sugar Camp on August 3 and marched 
westward with all convenient haste to KirksviUe, which we 
reached on the forenoon of the 6th. Here Colonel Porter 
determined to make a stand. I think it was unfortunate 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRK8VILLE 249 

that he chose to fight in a town where, on the high open 
ground, the enemy with their artillery and their long- 
range guns had all the. advantage. If he had gone on to 
the breaks of the Chariton we, with our inferior arms, 
would have had nearly an equal chance. The Federals 
were wise enough to keep out of our reach, and they swept 
the streets and soon knocked to pieces the wooden build- 
ings. I fired twenty-four shots with my deer rifle but I 
have no idea that I was near enough to hurt anyone. After 
about three hours fighting Colonels Porter and Franklin 
had a consultation and decided to put the Chariton River 
between us and the enemy. The retreat was at first in 
pretty good order, but it increased in disorder as the crowd 
thickened on the narrow road as we approached the river. 
We had little difficulty in fording it, though the smaller 
horses had to swim." 

Comrade Austin says: "By this time we were stirring 
up trouble among the Federals and a large force with can- 
non were sent after us. They came up with us just east 
of Kirksville. Porter desired to fight them in the town, 
so we were ordered to go beyond the town on the west, hitch 
our horses and come back to the eastern edge. About twenty 
of our company occupied a newly built house on the north- 
east outskirts in plain view of the enemy. We could see 
their every maneuver. When the battle begun, it was furi- 
ous, but most of the fighting was done at long range, the 
enemy standing off and using their cannons. Our house 
was shot to pieces and when a bomb burst in it we left. 
Some went one way and some another; I went west. As 
we left that house it seemed to me the air was as full of 
minie balls as it could hold. I don't see how they missed 
me; but they did. I believe I had with me all the time 
a guiding hand that protected me. I think Porter had three 
thousand men at Kirksville. I don't know what our loss 
was* I saw several men killed at the house we occupied. 



250 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Neither do I know the loss of the other side. The battle 
lasted several hours. When we retreated they came into 
town and captured some of our men who did not get the 
word to retreat. One of the prisoners they shot was my 
neighbor, Eube Thomas, who lived three or four miles from 
my home." 

Cbmrade K. K. Phillips, of Perry, Ralls County, writes: 
"A month or two before I joined Colonel Porter I was 
arrested by Captain Henry C. Gentry's company of New 
London, and on account of sickness in my family I was 
ordered to report to Major Hunt, at Hannibal, as soon as 
my family were well enough for me to leave them. In 
the meantime, one Colonel Thompson, of Audrain Coimty, 
had collected a lot of men and torn up quite a stretch of the 
North Missouri Kailroad. The grand jury being in session 
at the time supposed that I had some connection with it 
and sent the sheriff after me to appear before them. After 
they got through with me I reported at Hannibal, took the 
oath and gave my individual bond for $1,000, and was 
allowed to go home. The order was issued for every male 
over eighteen years to report at the nearest headquarters 
and enroll in the State militia by the 26th of July. I 
tried to get off. They would not let me ofP, but told me 
I would be treated as a bushwhacker. There were about 
one hundred and thirty of us who concluded to take our 
chances as bushwhackers. William Martin, who had been 
out with Price and had come home on a furlough, had been 
riding around encouraging the boys. A part of them came 
from around Frankf ord, Pike Coimty, others from Madison- 
ville, Cincinnati, and lick Creek, Balls County, so that we 
had a fine company. I had some good friends in business 
in Hannibal, so I took a large pair of old-fashioned saddle- 
bags, bought two twenty-five-pound sacks of No. 1 buck- 
shot, ten poimds of bar lead, six pounds of powder and six 
thousand water-proof percussion caps, put them in the 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRK8VILLE 251 

bottom of the saddle-bags and over them a lot of tea, 
cofFee, soda, etc., in small packages. On the top of each bag 
I put a quart bottle of the best old whiskey that Buck 
Brown had in his establishment, and then I' was ready for 
the pickets. I got through all right, and when I reached 
the pickets at New London, I pulled out my bottles and 
told them the countersign was pasted on the inside of 
the bottom and they verified it by drinking the last drop. 
They said the countersign was correct, that I could always 
pass when I had it and that they would always love me. 
I said I hoped that the more they saw of me, the more 
cause they would have to remember me. They wished me 
good luck and I got home without further incident. 

"The day after the battle of Moore's Mill we organized 
at Gleim's Mill on the Middle Fork of Salt River, east of 
Paris, by electing Ben Ely, now of Monroe Coimty, captain; 
William Martin, first lieutenant; a Dutchman from Frank- 
ford, second lieutenant, and myself third lieutenant; 
Stephen D. Ely, orderly sergeant; David Ely and T. J. 
Pettitt, corporals. I was twenty-eeven years old, reared 
in Oldham County, Kentucky, twenty-five miles above 
Louisville. I never enlisted before. We joined Colonel 
Porter on Salt Eiver near Florida. With him were Captain 
Jim Porter; Captain Valentine of our county, a Vermonter, 
and a good fighter; Hawkeye Captain Livingston, of Marion 
County; the Chain Gang from Pike County — the name 
of its captain I have forgotten^ — and others. We started 
north to draw the ndlitia from the Missouri River so that 
we might make a dash and get across. Captain Porter was 
sent dovm North River to get some ammunition stored 
there, and I was sent with fifty picked men to Houstonville 



iTlie captain's name waa WllUam C. Hllleary, of Marion County. He WM 
elected after the death of Captain Stacy. The """e Chain Gang waa given 
the company In a aplrit of fun and adopted by It in the same spirit. The 
men We?e from Shelby and Marion Conntlea, principally the ^rmer; no 
member of It was from Pike County, if I remember correctly. 



252 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

to cover his rear from a possible attack by the militia 
from La Grange, Owing to the time lost by our guide in 
the pitchy darkness we were too late to participate in the 
attach on New&,rk. There besides the militia under Captain 
Lair we captured about two hundred recruits. We got a 
large number of tents, blankets and other property and 
about five hundred old fuse muskets only good for drilling 
purposes, and as we had no time to drill we made a bonfire 
of them. Our army was now becoming very cumbersome 
by so many joining us without arms. It had a demoralizing 
effect. I do not think that out of two thousand or twenty- 
five hundred we had more than five hundred or six hundred 
armed men. The militia were crowding us on every side. 
On Sunday afternoon, August 3, on the North Fabius, we 
formed two or three companies in b'ne of battle in a little 
creek at; the foot of a long hill. We had a strong position. 
Our pursuers would have to come up in the open and we 
were completely hid. in a place where they could not fiank 
us. They stopped on top of the hill, took in the situation, 
backed out and went into camp. We stayed in line for 
some time and just got started when a fearful storm came 
up and we had to take what shelter we could. Several 
horses were killed by falling timber but no men were injured. 
We moved on. The next morning dawned bright and clear, 
and at seven o'clock we camped long enough to get break- 
fast We reached Kirksville Wednesday forenoon. I 
am not certain, but I think we went in from the north. 
There was a square section of land on the side we came 
in on. The town was built on the south, east and west of 
this section. We were formed along the front row of 
houses with reinforced lines a few blocks back. The 
Federals came in on the northeast comer of this square, 
and formed along the north side with artillery on the right. 
Mendll's men formed in front and charged, but double- 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRE8VILLE 253 

barreled shotguns are an ugly thing to charge on. They 
made three charges but were forced to fall back. Then 
they moved their artillery to the front. 

"Our company held the right center. Captain Ely and 
First Lieutenant Martin with thirty men behind a frame 
house, the second lieutenant on the right, behind a bam with 
twenty men and I behind a hen house with seventeen men. 
There was a thick patch of com between Captain Ely and 
me so that I could not see him or the second lieutenant; 
behind me on the left was a log stable. The artillery made 
our men very nervous, they never before having heard any- 
thing of the kind, but they stood their ground remarkably 
well for new men just from their homes. Captain Ely 
ordered his men back but did not let me know of it. We 
could see nothing in front except Federals and they were 
getting uncomfortably near. I went out to see Ely but he 
was gone. I looked for the second lieutenant and he was 
shaking the dust from his feet as fast as he could. I went 
back to my men, told them to follow me, and we dashed 
through that com in somewhat of a hurry until the stable 
was reached, where we gave the advancing enemy four or 
five rounds. We then went through a large frame house, 
through the court-house and behind! a picket fence we came 
up to our company. We fired a round or two and dropped 
back to another company, but the Federals were flanking 
us and we broke ranks and took to the bmsh. Here we 
were safe, as the enemy came no farther. Our company 
lost six killed and seventeen wounded. My understanding 
was that there were twenty-two prisoners killed, but they 
were all strangers to me. We got all our wounded out, so 
there were none of them killed." 

Comrade Wine, of Townsend, Montana, a member o± 
Franklin's regiment, says our forces amounted to about two 
thousand men, that Colonels Franklin and McCullough 



254 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

favored offering battle in the timber west of town and 
that Colonel Porter chose the town, that Porter's men held 
the toAvn until driven out, that Franklin's men were held 
in reserve, that the cannonading was furious for three hours, 
and that his services were offered to Colonel McCullough 
in his illness and declined. 

Sergeant D. G. Harrington, of Merrill Horse, now of 
Bennett, Colorado, says: "On August 6, we came upon 
the pickets about 3 p. m., and came into Kirksville with 
them. Our force was twelve hundred, composed of eight 
hundred of the Second Missouri Cavalry, Merrill Horse, and 
four hundred State militia and two small guns. lieuten- 
ant Cowdrey, of company A, charged through the town with 
ten men to locate the enemy and strange to say, with all the 
firing, had only two men wounded. Our Ices was twenty- 
eight killed and eighty wounded. We took about forty pris- 
oners and they reported their loss was about ninety kiUed 
and one hundred and ten wounded." 

Captain J. E. Mason, commanding a company of Merrill 
Horse, writes: "We came up with your command at Kirks- 
ville, August 6. You were reported to have four thousand 
or five thousand men. We had seven hundred or eight 
hundred. I espect you have the account of Lieutenant 
Cowdrey's charge with ten men into the village. He came 
out with one man wounded. I would like to know how 
many of your men were hit in that charge. I was told by 
one of your men that he was behind a fence With others; 
that one on each side of him was shot and that he was struck 
but was saved by the bullet striking the dasp of his pocket 
book." 

Captain George H. Eowell, of Merrill Horse, writes: 
"I think it was just ten days after the Moore's Mill fight 
that we again overhauled Porter, barricaded in the village 
of Kirksville. Colonel Lewis Merrill had then joined the 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRK8VILLE 255 

campaign and assiuned command of his regiment.^ General 
McNeil had also joined us, but whether he brought any 
troops with him or not I do not know, but being the rank- 
ing officer on the field took command. We had with Us 
our own battery of six mountain howitzers, a section of 
an Indiana battery, twelve-pound Parrott guns, and some 
smaller guns — ^two-pounders. The enemy put up a pretty 
stiff fight, and were entirely concealed in the buildings, 
comprising the then small village, the brick court-houae 
seeming to be the general rendezvous. We took position on 
the east and south of the village; could see no enemy, only 
what seemed to be a few men in a grove back of the town, 
sharpshooters as they afterwards proved. We unlimbered 
our cannon and commenced shelling the town from the east 
and could see the enemy pouring from the houses and try- 
ing to get to a place of greater safety. With my company, 
I was that day giuard to the two gims of the Indiana bat- 
tery. We were too far away from the enemy then in sight 
to do ecsecution with our carbines, so I ordered my men 
to lie down in line in rear of the cannon. This is where 
I was wounded. I was walking about in front of the line 
when I was wounded in the right breast by a minie ball, 
fired, as was supposed,' by one of the enemy's sharpshooters. 
The fight lasted about three hours. Before the enemy had 
disclosed themselves General McNeil called upon Second 
Lieutenant John N. Cowdrey, of company A, to take six 
men of his company, ride to the third street of the village 
and draw the enemy's fire. Cowdrey and I were personal 
friends, and knowing him I regretted to see him called out to 
execute this perilous order. He made no comment, but in 

'The generally very accurate recolleetioii of Captain Howell, except In 
a few minor details, falls him here. Colonel Merrlu was not with his regi- 
ment on this occasion. It was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel William 
F. Shaffer. At this date Merrill was colonel Second Regiment, Missouri 
Cavalry, three years' volunteers, also known as Merrill Horse, date of com- 
mission, August 23, 1861. McNeil was commissioned colonel of the Third 
Missouri Infantry, May 8, 1861, but he was mustered out August 17. He 
was commissioned colonel of Second Missouri State Militia Cavalry June 
80, 1862. Merrill was, therefore, the ranking officer. 



256 WITE PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

five minutes was ready to start. All was still, not a shot 
was fired until the little squad arrived at the second street, 
when from each side the fusilade commenced and it is 
safe to say there were at least a hundred shots fiLred at this 
little band; hut they came out with slight damage. Cow- 
drey's horse was shot but he brought him out, still riding 
him. One enlisted man was shot, but not seriously. Cow- 
drey died in St. Louis, several years ago. His son, Harry, 
is representing one of the St. Louis districts in Congress." 

In the official report of Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer this 
incident is described: "Not being able at first to 
discover the whereabouts of the enemy, Ctlonel McNeil 
ordered a cavalry charge to be made. I detailed Lieutenant 
Cowdrey, with part of Company A, Merrill Horse, who 
charged through the town, receiving a severe fire from the 
enemy from the houses and behind the fences and trees. 
This was a most gallant charge and reflects great credit 
upon Lieutenant Cowdrey and his brave men. Two of 
them were mortally wounded and three slightly, and five 
horses were killed." 

The History of Shelby County says: "After receiving 
the fire of a thousand shotguns, rifles and revolvers, losing 
only one man killed, a soldier named A. H. Waggoner, one 
mortally wounded, William Ferguson, and having but two 
others struck the dauntless Cowdrey rode back and reported. 
. . . . As to loss ; six Federals fell dead on the field — 
Captain Mayne of the Third Iowa; A. H. Waggoner, 
Mathias Olstein, and Sylvester Witham, privates of Com- 
pany C, Merrill Horse; Sergeant William Bush, Company 
B, Ninth Missouri, State Militia; H. H. Moore, private, 
Company E, First Missouri, State Militia. The wounded 
number thirty-three; of these at least two afterwards 
died. The Federals claim they buried fifty-eight of Porter's 
men who were killed outright; that eighty-four were left 
severely wounded, and that they captured two hundred 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRK8VILLE 257 

and fifty prisoners. The Confederate loss was never exactly 
known by that side, and the Federal statements could not be 
disputed. The Federal loss was and is a matter of official 
record. Among the Shelby Connty Confederates, killed 
were Timothy Hayes, of Patton's company, formerly 
Clement's; John Kichardson, of the same company, was 
mortally woxmded and died a day or two later. A number 
were wounded. The fight began at 11 a. m., and lasted 
about five hours. During the engagement a lady resident 
of Kirksville, a Mrs. Cutts, was shot by a stray bullet 
and mortally wounded. She was just coming up from the 
cellar when she was struck." 

There is a difl!erence of opinion among the survivors of 
Porter's and Franklin's men as to which was responsible for 
the selection of the town as the battle-field. The weight 
of the testimony submitted places it upon Colonel Porter. 
There is a doubt as to any recollection being based upon 
positive knowledge. Colonel Porter was the most audacious 
of men, but he was likewise exceedingly prudent and 
cautious, and at all times careful about the safety of his 
men. The History of Lewis County says that "in reach- 
ing a determination" — ^to march westward — "Colonel Porter 
was aided greatly by the counsel of Colonel Franklin. But 
for the latter it is quite probable that the battle would have 
been fought either a.^ Short's well, in the Fabius bottom, or 
somewhere in the woods of Knox or Adair." It goes on 
to say that "Porter did not wish to fight. Not that he 
lacked bravery or personal courage, but because he possessed 
that discretion which wae the better part of valor. He 
knew that his own force largely outnumbered the pursuing 
Federals, but the greater number of his men were raw 
recruits, and many of them were unarmed. He had not a 
single piece of cannon, while McNeil had five. He had only 
about five hundred men whom he could depend upon, while 
every man of McNeil's was a disciplined soldier." 

(17) 



258 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Colonel Porter did not have any such number that he 
could depend upon in the sense of the writer above quoted. 
He had less than a hundred and fifty of the "old guard." 
These were mostly boys below the age of normal physical 
strength, but they slept in the saddle, laughed at hunger 
and thirst, and laughed at the scorching sun and drenching 
rain and laughed at raging torrent and thorny bramble and, 
more than all, laughed at battle. With a very few ex- 
ceptions, who had seen previous service, these knew nothing 
of the drillmaster's secrets, because every moment must 
be given to matters of more importance, but they had the 
brightness of the pearl absorbed from the wearer, and their 
interpretation of the mind of their leader supplied, in large 
degree, their want of knowledge of the tactics. There were 
others — ^perhaps enough to make the aggregate five hun- 
dred — ^just as well armed and mounted, just as brave and just 
as pliant to the demands of the hour, but they lacked the 
experience. No quality of the soldier can equal the dis- 
cipline of the drill. What Colonel Porter accomplished 
with his opportunities places him among the most capable 
commanders of the war. 

Following is the official report of Colonel McNeil: 

Hesadquabtees MoNetl's Column, 
Pax,myea, September, IT, 1862. 
Ha job: 

I have the honor to send you herewith report of Lieu- 
tentmt-Colonel Shaffer, commanding Merrill's Horse, and of 
Major Caldwell, commanding detachment of Third Iowa 
Cavalry, and of Major Benjamin, commanding detachment 
of the Eleventh Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, of their 
operations in the action of August 6, 1862, between the 
force under my command and the army under the guerrilla 
chief, Joseph C. Porter. 

I also append as brief a narrative of the events of the 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRK8VILLE 259 

march and engagement as I deem their importance to allow, 
with such mention of the conduct of individuals as their 
merits justly entitle them to. 

My command was composed of a detachment of the Mer- 
rill Horse, under Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer, of fourteen 
oflBcers and three hundred and twenty men; detachment of 
Second Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, under command of 
Captains McClanahan and Edwards, five oflBcers and one 
hundred and seventeen men; detachment of Eleventh Cav- 
alry, Missouri State Militia, Major Benjamin, three hun- 
dred and twenty men; the command of Major Caldwell, 
Third Iowa Volunteers, composed of detachments of his 
own regiment, the Ninth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, 
and Red Rovers, Missouri State Militia; detachment of the 
First Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, under Major Cox, 
five oflBcers and one hundred and thirty-two men; section 
of Third Indiana Battery, Lieutenant Armington; section 
of steel two-pounder battery. Lieutenant McLaren ; Sergeant 
West, with a twelve-pounder howitzer. Second Missouri 

State Militia; making an aggregate of oflBcers and 

men. 

The train guard and those required to holdandjguard horses 
while combatants dismounted for action, the support of the 
artillery and reserve deducted, left us about five hundred 
men with which to engage the enemy. 

The pursuit which had preceded and led to this action 
had been long and arduous, and most of the troops engaged 
had been constantly on the march since the middle of July. 
I had hung on the trail of the enemy from the time I struck 
it on the 29th of July. Beginning the chase with one 
hundred and twenty men and a twelve-pounder howitzer, 
with which I marched from Palmyra on July 29, augment- 
ed at Clinton, in Monroe County, by Major Cox with one 
hundred and sixty men and two small steel guns, I marched 
to Paris at night, expecting to find Porter in that place. 



260 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

as he had sacked it that evening. Finding that he had 
moved to the Elk Fork of the Salt River, we prepared to 
attack him there, when suddenly he made a feint of an 
attack on us in Paris. This kept my men on the qvi vvoe 
all day, our skirmishers driving the attacking party in every 
direction. But finding that this feint was only to cover 
his retreat across the railroad, and that he had broken up 
his camp at noon, we marched in pursuit all the next night, 
arriving at Hunnewell at 5 o'clock next morning. We 
moved as soon as possible after resting our men and horses, 
worn-out with forty-eight hours' constant pursuit, camping 
that night at 10 o'clock at a farm four miles east of Shelby- 
ville. Hearing during the night that Porter had taken 
Newark the evening before, we marched next morning for 
Bethel, where we were joined by Major Benjamin, of the 
Eleventh Missouri, State Militia, with eighty men, making 
our entire force three hundred and sixty men. With this 
small force we pushed on to Newark, expecting to find it 
occupied by Porter with his entire force of two thousand 
men. Our advance guard entered one side of the town 
while the retreating enemy's rear was still in sight from 
the other. Such pursuit was made as the worn-out condi- 
tion of our men and horses and the character of the country 
made prudent against so numerous an enemy. 

We marched at 12 m. next day and continued pursuit of 
the enemy over a most difficult country, following his devi- 
ous and eccentric windings through brake and bottom and 
across fields, often where no wheel had ever turned before. 
He had destroyed bridges and obstructed fords by felling 
trees. Notwithstanding this, we kept well up with him, 
driving in his pickets, beating up his camps, and left many 
of his men prone upon the track. 

We came up with him at Zirksville about 10 o'clock 
Wednesday morning, August 6, and learning that he had 



FROM NEWARK TO EIRK8VILLE 261 

expelled the people from the to-wn, concluded that he would 
occupy the houses and defend the place. 

Kirksville is situated on a prairie ridge, surrounded 
completely by timber and com fields, with open ground on 
the northeast, from which direction we approached. The 
advance guard, comprising detachments of the Second and 
Eleventh Missouri, State Militia, under Major Benjamin, 
had been gallantly pushed forward, and held the northeastern 
approach of the town long in advance of the arrival of the 
main column and artillery. 

Upon information that the enemy held the town every- 
thing was hurried up without regard for horse-flesh, leav- 
ing the train to take care of the rear guard. I deployed 
columns on the northern and eastern faces of the town, the 
ground on the northeast being highly favorable for attack. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer was put in command of the right 
wing, composed of the Merrill Horse, under Major Olopper; 
detachments of Second and Eleventh Cavalry, Missouri State 
Militia, under Major Benjamin, and the section of the bat- 
tery of the Third Indiana Artillery, under Lieutenant 
Armington. The left wing was put in charge of Major 
Caldwell, of the Third Iowa Volunteers, and was composed 
of his own command, as stated above, and the detachment 
of the First Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers, under Major 
Cox. A section of a steel battery of two-pounder howitzer, 
in charge of Sergeant West and ten men of company C, 
Second Missouri, State Militia, acted, as did the Indiana 
artillery, by my order, imder the direction of Captain Barr, 
of the Merrill Horse. 

These dispositions having been rapidly made I concluded 
to ascertain the position of the enemy, as nothing could be 
seen or heard of him, except one man in the cupola of the 
court-house who retired at the bidding of a Sharp's rifle; 
and a rifle-shot from a house at an officer who appeared too 
curious about what was going on in town. For this reason 



262 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

I called for an officer and squad who should charge into the 
town. Lieutenant Cowdrey, of the Merrill Horse, with eight 
men, did the business most gallantly — dashing at the north- 
east comer of the town where he drew a most terrible fire 
from houses and gardens on all sides. He dashed around 
the square, coming out at the other comer, with small loss, 
considering the nature of the perilous errand. The enemy 
discovered, the attack commenced. 

The artillery opened, throwing shot and shell into the 
com fields, gardens and houses where the enemy were 
ensconced. The dismounted men were thrown forward to 
seize the outer line of sheds and houses on the northern and 
eastern sides of the town. This was gallantly done by the 
commands of Major Benjamin and Lieutenant Piper, of 
Merrill's Horse; the detachment of Ninth Missouri, State 
Militia, under Captain Leonard; the Bed Hovers, under 
Captain Rice, and the detachment of the Third Iowa. 
Major Cox, with his detachment, occupied and skirmished 
through a com field on the southeast of the town, driving a 
large body of the enemy out and pursuing them with effect 
Tljie advance was steadily made, house after house being 
taken, the occupants killed or surrendering. 

In this work we lost the most of our men that were killed 
or wounded — including Captain Mayne, of the Third Iowa, 
who fell at the head of his command, leading them up as 
only a brave soldier can. A simultaneous charge of both 
%vings now carried the town and court-house; but still the 
western line of houses and corn fields were defended with 
energy, our lines receiving a galling fire ; but the right wing, 
gallantly led by Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer and Major Ben- 
jamin, made short work of this part of the field, while the 
left wing took full possession of the southern line of the 
town. 

The pursuit was continued through woods to the west 
of the town, where large quantities of horses, arms, cloth- 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRK8YILLE 263 

ing and camp equipage were found, and the entire brush 
skirmished. Major Clopper was ordered, with a body of 
the Merrill Horse, to pursue the flying foe, which he did until 
he became convinced that they had crossed the Chariton, 
when he returned to camp. Further pursuit for the day, 
however desirable, was almost impossible in our condition. 
The men had for the most part had nothing to eat for two days 
and the horses were almost entirely used up. The enemy 
had been numerous, and we were still unadvised whether 
he had crossed the river in mass or whether part of his force 
had not fallen back to the northwest, from which point they 
might f aU on our rear. 

We went into camp, taking measures for the collection 
of forage and subsistence and putting our men and horses 
in condition for pursuit. I had several days previously 
detached Lieutenant-Colonel Morsey, with four hundred 
and twenty men of the Tenth Cavalry, Missouri State Mili- 
tia, and Major Eogers, with the Second Battalion, Eleventh 
Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, to move north, 
outflank the enemy and prevent his getting into Scotland or 
Schuyler Counties; and have the best reason to believe it 
was the proximity of this force, of which Porter was well 
advised, that obliged him to make a stand at Kirksville. 
This command came into camp next day, swelling our force 
to nearly seventeen hundred men, without any but the pre- 
carious means of subsistence left ia a country that had been 
desolated by the passage of an army of nearly three thou- 
sand men. 

Happily, on the morning of the 8th, Lieutenant Hiller 
arrived from Palmyra, by the way of Edina, with eight thou- 
sand rations and a timely supply of horseshoes. The address 
and boldness of Lieutenant Hiller in moving with a guard 
of but forly men, anid for days, is worthy of the highest 
commendation. It is an instance of devotion to duty 



264 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

that I would respectfully call to the attention of the com- 
manding general as worthy of reward. 

On the morning of the 9th we moved, on information from 
headquarters, toward Stockton, hoping to cut the enepiy off 
from the road; but hearing at Bloomington that Colonel 
McFerran's forces had met and dispersed the remainder of 
Porter's army, we marched to the railroad. I here directed 
such disposition of the different commands as I considered 
efficient to prevent their crossing the road to rally again in 
Monroe Oounly. 

Our loss in the engagement at Kirksville will be found 
by the surgeon's report to be five killed and thirty-two 
wounded. That of the enemy may be stated without any" 
exaggeration at one himdred and fifty killed and between 
three hundred and four hundred wounded and forty-seven 
prisoners. 

Finding that fifteen of the persons captured had been 
prisoners before, and, upon their own admission, had been 
discharged on their solemn oath and parole of honor not 
again to take arms against their country under penalty of 
death, I enforced the penalty of the bond by ordering them 
shot. Most of these guerrillas have certificates of parole 
from some provost-marshal or post commandant with them, 
for use at an^y time they may be out of camp. These pal- 
tering tokens of pocket loyalty were found on the persons 
of nearly all the men so executed. Disposed that an evi- 
dence of clemency and mercy of the country toward the 
erring and misguided should go hand in hand with unre- 
lenting justice, I discharged on parole all the prisoners who 
had not violated parole and who were in arms for the first 
time against their country and Government. 

I cannot close this report without conanending the conduct 
of the officers and men under my command. Each corps 
seemed to vie with the other in the noble competition of 
duty. Brave men fell, and we mourn their loss. But as 



FROM NEWARK TO EIRK8VILLE 265 

brave men live to receive the thanks of their country for 
gallantry and good conduct in the face of a vastly out- 
numbering <Bnemy, I would beg leave to mention my im- 
mediate attendants. Lieut. Alexander McFarlane, acting 
assistant adjutant-general, and Capt. H. Clay Gentry, 
Eleventh Eegiment. The first was wounded early in the 
action and carried to the rear, but not until he had given 
evidence of coolness and courage that promise well for him 
wherever he shall meet the enemy. Captain G-entry con- 
tinued throughout the action to carry my orders to all 
parts of the field and through heavy lines of fire without 
apparently losing a moment to think of himself. His 
bravery is worthy the name he bears. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer and Majors Clopper, Benjamra, 
Caldwell, and Cox, each did their duty like brave officers, and 
especially would I mention Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer and 
Major Benjamin as having shown distinguished gallantry 
and a faithful discharge of duty while under a galling fire 
of the enemy in entering the town. 

To Captain Barr, of the Merrill Horse, I am indebted 
for directing the fire of the section of the Third Indiana 
Battery. His services were truly valuable, and I found 
him there, as I have found him everywhere, the best of 
soldiers and the most modest of gentlemen. The non- 
commissioned officers and men of this battery behaved in a 
way which even Indiana, who has so much to be proud of 
in this war, may applaud. 

Captain Eice, commanding that gallant little company, 
the Ked Rovers, demeaned himself like a true soldier, re- 
maining on the field during the entire action after having 
received a severe woimd ia the face. 

Lieutenant McLaren, of the section of steel battery, gave 
them "grape" in good style; and Sergeant West did good 
execution with the howitzer until the axle broke, rendering 



266 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

it useless for the rest of the day. Captains Leonard and 
Garth, of the Ninth Missouri, and Captains McClanahan 
and Edwards of the Second, and Lieutenant DoAihoo, of the 
Eleventh Kegiment, came under my immediate notice as 
acting with soldierly bearing and gallantry, as did Lieuten- 
ant Piper, of the Merrill Horse, who led the first attack 
to seize the houses, under a deadly fire, and did the work like 
a true soldier. 

I might be deemed partial or extravagant if I were to 
attempt the expression of the admiration I feel for my 
yoimg friend Lieutenant Cowdrey, of the Merrill Horse, 
for his gallant dash into the town to discover the enemy. 
It well entitles him to official notice, and when promotion 
comes to him it will fall on a capable officer — one proud 
of the service and devoted to duty. There were other in- 
stances of individual bravery that came under my notice 
which I would be glad to mention, but the limits of this 
report deprive me of the privilege. 

The full effect and importance of our action in this pursuit 
and engagement will be better estimated by those who shall 
hereafter chronicle the events of the time than by the 
actors. But I think events will prove that it will have 
broken up recruiting for the rebel Government in Northern 
Missouri under the guerrilla flag, and if vigorously followed 
up by a prompt application of force, with unrelenting and 
prompt execution of military justice. Northeast Missouri 
^vill hereafter refer to that day as a point in her history. 

Justice to those who did their whole duty would not 
be done should I omit to mention Dr. Lyon, surgeon of 
the Second Regiment, and Dr. Trader, assistant surgeon of 
the First Missouri. I inclose herewith Surgeon Lyon's 
report of killed and wounded. 

This report has long been delayed, in consequence of my 
continued occupation in the field since the date of the 



FROM NEWARK TO KIRK8VILLE 267 

action, rendering it impossible for me to attend to any 
clerical duty. 

I have the honor to be, your obedient servent, 

John McNeil, 
Colonel, Commanding Expedition. 
Geoege M. Houston, 

Major and Assistant Adjutami-General. 



CHAPTER XXII 

"MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU THIS COLD- 
BLOODED MURDER" 

In the first years of his mature manhood and with these 
words addressed to his executioners one of the bravest, 
purest, gentlest, most conscientious men that ever lived surren- 
dered his life for his convictions of duty. The manner in 
which Lieutenant-Colonel Frisby Henderson McCuUough 
met death in the afternoon of Friday, August 8, 1862, was 
worthy of his record and worthy of the cause he had 
espoused. 

Almost immediately after the battle of Kirksville Colonel 
McOullough became so ill that he could not keep up with the 
command. Colonel Porter detailed two men to go with 
him to a place of safety where after recovering he could 
continue the work of recruiting in which he had been so 
successful. He declined this escort saying that in his present 
condition, which he thought would soon improve, it would 
be difficult to evade the vigilence of the Federals; that the 
presence of the escort would increase the risk, and that he could 
not consent to endanger the life of anyone for himself. He 
must have traveled the greater part of the night notwithstand- 
ing being alone and sick. By next day he had gone some 
eighteen miles eastward to a point eight miles northwest of 
Edina, and here in a little grove he lay down for rest and 
sleep. A man seeing him lying on the ground in a Confed- 
erate uniform reported to the militia. It is given in other 
authorities that a squad of militia searching for strag- 
glers saw him enter the bush and one of them, a man named 



"MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU" 269 

Holmes, volimteered to go in the wood and found him at 
bay. The account here given is that obtained from his sis- 
ter, Mrs. J. W. Moore, of La Belle, Lewis County, and it 
differs slightly from that of the History of Knox County 
and of the Palmyra Courier of that date. The militia 
rushed in and demanded his surrender. He, seeing resist- 
ance was useless against such odds, answered that he would 
surrender on the condition that he should be treated as a 
prisoner of war. The promise was given and in consequence 
he surrendered. 

The History of Knox County, page 699, says: "Elated 
at the capture of so important a personage, the militia bore 
McCuUough inl something of triumph to Edina and turned 
him over to Captain Lewis Sells, then in command of the 
post. The cry ran through the town, 'Fris McCuUough is 
taken ! Fris McCuUough is taken !' and the citizens flocked 
to the court-house where he was held to see him. The pris- 
oner wasi of large and athletic build. He wore a new and 
handsome gray uniform, and so arrayed, and bearing him- 
seK with his natural dignity, looked every inch the soldier 
and sir knight. His calm and gentlemanly deportment, 
added to his apparent modest heroism, called forth many ex- 
pressions of admiration and actual sympathy. Had his fate 
been left to the disposition of even the stanchest Unionist 
of this county, he might have been alive today. Soon there 
came to Edina, McNeil's supply train, under Quartermaster 
HiUer, en route for Kirksville. Its smaU escort was com- 
manded by Captain. James S. Best, who treated him with 
proper consideration. He rode with him, talked freely with 
him and deUvered him without a thought of the melancholy 
fate which was so shortly to befall him." 

At Edina Colonel McCuUough requested that he be sent 
to Palmyra instead of Kirksville. It is not known why 
his request was not granted. The most charitable supposi- 



270 WITE PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

tion is that it was more convenient to send him to Kirks- 
ville. The History of Ejiox County, which is not very 
fair to the Confederate side, says that Captain Best treated 
his prisoner kindly and delivered hini without a thought 
of the fate in store for him. This is probably true. It 
can only be inferred why Colonel McCullough preferred 
Palmyra to Kirksville. He may not have known of the 
executions at Kirksville the previous day, but he well knew 
the bloodthirstiness which continually cried out "Give tliem 
no quarter," "Shoot them down," "Exterminate them," and 
it is probable that he foresaw his doom and thought that 
at Palmyra he might have an opportunity to look once more 
upon the faces of hia wife and babes. 

The Palmyra Courier in! its issue of August 15, foUowiog 
the execution, says "The news of the capture of this famous 
guerrilla excited the utmost enthusiasm among our troops." 
How this entliusiasm was manifested is told by Colonel 
McCullough's sister: "The army was drunk and mad after 
their bloody deed of killing those prisoners. There was a 
friend of our family in Kirksville at the time, Mr. Thomas 
Welch, who told us how they treated him. They led him 
on his horse up and down the streets^ and, he said, if all 
the demons in hell had been turned loose there would not 
have been a greater uproar." 



'To the common cruelty to the prisoners of the mllltla was frequently 
added the buffoonery of savaglsm when the victim possessed refinement or 
prominence. A detachment of Erekel's regiment arrested Major Harrison 
Anderson, a prominent and prosperous farmer and merchant of Chain of 
Rocks, Lincoln County, and took him to O'Fallon. He was a peaceable, 
quiet and very charitable man, but his brother-in-law, a lieutenant In the 
Confederate army, was killed In the battle of Corinth. Elrerythlng to 
hnmlliate the major that they conld think of was done, and finally they 
ordered him to mount a large packing-box and cry out: "Hurrah for 
Lincoln." He objected that If he old so he would act the hypocrite. Tliey 
told him to take his choice, that or death. He was still reluctant, but 
they lifted him on the box and, prodding him with bayonets, ordered him 
to halloo loudly and quickly. The major's voice was naturally husky and 
low, and the situation was not calculated to make It any clearer. With a 
great effort he got out the first word loud enough to be heard three feet 
away, but the other two were inaudible. Imprecations and oaths and the 
cocking of muskets made the second attempt not different from the first. 
The major stopped a moment then and with the composure that expected 
Instant death said: "I cannot say it." He was finally bonded to give no 
aid to the Confederate Government and allowed to return home. 



"MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU" 271 

The History of Lewis County^ says: "Here he was 
charged with being a guerrilla and an outlaw. It was said 
he had no commission as an officer, but was fighting on his 
own responsibility and without authority, and was therefore 
a guerrilla, purely and simply. It was charged further that 
he was engaged in recruiting for the Confederate service 
inside the Union lines, and had 'duped men into entering 
the rebel army in violation of their paroles.' A few of the 
paroled prisoners asserted that they were persuaded by 
McCuUough to join Porter. A drum-head court-martial, pre- 
sided over by Lieutenant-Colonel W. F. Shaffer, of Merrill's 
Horse, tried and • convicted him of these charges, and 
sentenced him to be shot, and his trial, conviction, sentence 
and execution all happened the same day of his arrival at 
Kirksville, Friday, August 8, 1862. 

"* * * To the court-martial he had claimed that he 
was a Confederate officer with the rank of Lieutenant- 
Colonel; but admitted that the latter title had been given 
him only a few days previously at Short's Well, where he 
was elected second in command of a regimental organization 
of which Cyrus Franklin was chosen colonel. He had been 
a lieutenant-colonel in the Missouri State Gruard, but his 
term of service in that army had long before expired. The 
fate of the young Confederate leader excited considerable 
sympathy among the Federals present. The officer who 
brought the sentence to him was moved to tears. 
McCullough himself was cool and collected. Leaning against 
a fence he wrote a few lines to his wife, and these, with 
his watch and one or two other articles, he delivered to 
an officer to be given her, with assurance of his devoted 
affection in the hour of death. Upon the way to the place 



>Tbe bistorles of Letvls, Enox and Scotland Conntles and of many other 
conntles In Missouri were written by Mr. E. J. Holcombe. He was em- 
ployed by a Chicago pnbllshlng company. About thirty years ago I gave 
aim my recollections of a certain point In controversy about the battle of 
Wilson's Creek, for his history of Greene County. He was a conscientious 
historian, but his sympathies against our side will crop out here and there. 



272 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

of his execution he requested the privilege of giving the 
order to fire, which was granted to him. All being ready, 
he stood bravely up, and without a tremor in his manly frame 
or a quiver in his clarion voice, he called out, 'What I have 
done, I have done as a principle of right. Aim at the 
heart. Fire ! ' * * * Hig body was given to friends 
in Kirksville, who buried it there, but it was afterwards 
removed to and reinterred at Asbury Chapel, Lewis County. 
Colonel McCuUough had long been a resident of Marion 
County. He was a good citizen, a high-minded gentleman, 
of fine presence, brave as a, lion, gentle as a woman. Even 
in his death the strongest Unionists who knew him respected 
and admired his virtues and entertained the most bitter 
regrets that what they considered his misconceptions of duly 
had led him to his fearful fate. At the time of his death 
he was thirty-three years of age." 

In a foot note on the same page is this : "In a commimica- 
tion to the writer, General McNeil says: 'Colonel 
McCullough was tried by a commission of which lieutenant- 
Colonel Shaffer was president, under Order No. 2, of Gren- 
eral HaUeck, and Nos. 8 and 18, of General Schofield. He 
had no commission except a printed paper authorinng "the 
bearer" to recruit for the Confederate army. He was found 
guilty of buishwacking, or of being a guerrilla. He was a 
brave fellow, and a splendid specimen of manhood. I would 
have gladly spared him had duty permitted. As it was, 
he suffered the fate that would have fallen to you or me 
if we had been found recruiting inside the Confederate 
lines. He met a soldier's death, as became a soldier.' " 

After protesting against his execution Colonel McCul- 
lough asked to be allowed to write to his wife. He was 
told that his death would be delayed fifteen minutes for 
that purpose. Leaning against the fence, with paper resting 
on his knee, he wrote with a steady hand, "My darling Eloise, 
may God be with you 'till we meet in a better world." He 



"MAY 00 D FOROIYE YOU" 218 

was then taken a short distance west of town and shot. 
Out of the volley he received one wound — ^in the breast — 
and fell limp to the ground. Asking his executioners to 
straighten his leg from under him he made for them the 
prayer quoted at the beginning of this chapter. The 
printed accounts, all written to mitigate as much as possible 
the horror of the deed, quote him as saying : "I forgive you 
for this barbarous act." Colonel McCuUough was an 
unselfish man and a devout Christian. It was conformable 
to his character that his last words should be a prayer for 
mercy for those who were taking his life and which included 
his own forgiveness. His friends say the soldiers dispatched 
him with their revolvers; the other accounts say they 
reloaded and emptied their muskets. The difiference is 
immaterial. 

The then editor of the Palmyra Courier, whose thirst for 
rebel blood may be appeased at this late day and in a 
habitation remote from these scenes' (but it never was dur- 
ing the war), has this to say of him : "Colonel McCuUough 
was a resident of Marion County. We have known him per- 
sonally since he was a boy. He was ever, as a citizen, a 
high-toned gentleman — ^really a noble specimen of a man. 
Brave aa a lion, no danger could intimidate him. We 
doubt whether the rebel ranks contain a more honor- 
able man than he was. Yet his judgment led him to 
commit the fatal error of taking up arms against his country. 
He has been one of the most active and vigUant rebels in 
the Northeast Missouri. Honorable as he was, however, 
as a gentleman, he justly merited the fate he received, 
as a rebel, in unlawful and barbarous warfare against the 
authorities of the land. Had he engaged in the service 
of his country with the zeal he evinced against it, he would 



'J. Rice Wlncbell holds, or did hold a few months ago, the position of 
treasurer In the oflSce of Collector of Castoms, port of New Haven, Con- 
necticut. 

(18) 



274 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

doubtlesB have arisen to a high position of honor and renown.'^ 
He was capable of great attainments, but unfortunately 
threw his opportunities away. Even in his death we respect 
and admire his virtues, and entertain a bitter regret that 
his misconception of duty led him to a fearful fate." 

Of his personal history his sister writes, under date of 
October 12, 1908: "My brother was bom on a farm in 
New Castle County, Delaware, March 8, 1828. My father's 
name was James McCullough. My mother's name was 
Delia Pennington; she died in 1849, a short time before 
my brothers started to California. There were seven chil- 
dren in our family, four boys and three girls ; brother Frisby 
was the fifth child. My father settled in the narthem part 
of Marion County in 1840. When he came to Miseouri 
he was a slaveholder, of which I am not ashamed, for he 
was a kind master. His slaves loved him and nevOT left 
him until he told them they would have to go as he could 
not take care of them any longer. He inherited his slaves. 
My brother was also a farmer. In 1849, with two older 
brothers, he went to California with teams of oxen. He 
stayed there five years and coming back bought a drove 
of horses and took them across the plains to that country, 
returning home to stay. He was married a few years before 
the war to Eloise Randolph, of a Maryland family, who 
died about two years ago. When the war came on, his 
sympathies being with the South, he left his farm and 
enlisted on that side. He went South as a captain with 
General Green and was in the battle of Lexington, where 
he proved himself a brave soldier. I do not remember 
how far he went South with the army, but he was sent back 
by General Price to recruit for the army. I cannot remem- 
ber the month he returned to North Missouri, but he came 
back with Captain Jim Porter in the Spring of 1862, the 

'The idea of a man of Colonel McCnllongh's character touching elbows 
with John McNeil, John F. Benjamin and Ben Loan! 




LIEUTENANT-COLONEL FRISBY H. McCULLOUGH 



"MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU" 275 

same year he was killed. I saw his commission, though 
they said when they mxrrdered him that they did it because 
he was a bushwhacker, when bushwhacking was sometiing 
he never allowed his men to do. He was always opposed 
to fighting in North Missouri, aa he said it only caused 
trouble (which proved to be true) and accomplished noth- 
ing; but he was overruled by Colonel Porter, who insisted 
on fighting in this State. I remember my brother had made 
all arrangements to gO' into Palmyra, take the prisoners 
out of the jail, which was filled at that time with Confederate 
soldiers, and go South with them. Colonel Porter opposed 
the undertaking and, being the superior officer, his view 
obtained. My brother was much respected by everybody, 
friends and enemies, who knew him. His son bears his 
name and is a prominent attorney of Edina, Knox County. 
I am sorry the picture I send you is such a poor one, but it 
is the best we have. I wish it looked like him when last I 
saw him. When Frisby was elected captain in Colonel 
Green's regiment, William was elected first lieutenant; he 
was my youngest brother, Frisby being next older. William 
was killed at the battle of Corinth, Mississippi, October 4, 
1862." 

Colonel McCuUough came to our command only once 
while we were with Porter, and remained in camp about one 
hour. I was introduced to him by Colonel Porter. He was 
a man of striking and most pleasing appearance. His face, 
his bearing, his conversation, mirrored the qualities of mind 
and heart described in the generous tributes of his enemies. 
It was generally understood that he was to be our lieutenant- 
colonel, although he was not in active service with us, because 
hia services in the recruiting field were too valuable. If 
the statement that he was elected lieutenant-colonel of 
Franklin's regiment is correct, it does not conflict with the 
understanding that he was to have the same office in our 
regiment. It only meant that after both regiments, or either 



276 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

of them, became fully organized Colonel McCullough could 
take his choice of positions. The fact was that at the 
time of his execution he was an officer of the Missouri 
State Guard. This was a six months' service, but the 
terms of commissioned officers did not expire, nor had the 
organization itself been merged into the regular Confederate 
army. Governor Jackson on September 14, 1862, says the 
report of Colonel Waldo P. Johnson to General Price, War 
of the EebeUion, Series I, Volume 13, page 880, "made .an 
order turning over all the State Guards now in Missouri to 
the Confederate States, requiring them to report to me; 
withdrawing from all persons all power to recruit in future 
for the Missouri State Guard. I have not seen General 
Parsons, but arrangements are on foot to turn his entire 
command over to the Confederate States service, and I think 
it will be successful, as Governor Jackson, General Hind- 
man, and General Parsons are all trying to effect it in a 
manner satisfactory to the men." 

The news of the execution reaching G«neral Thomas A. 
Harris, then a member of the Confederate Congress and, 
the year previous, the commander of the brigade to which 
Colonel McCullough belonged, he sent the following com- 
munication^ to Hon. G. W. Randolph, Secretary of War, 
which was also signed by Hons. G. G. Vest, A. H. Conrow, 
and T. W. Freeman, members of the Confederate Congress 
from Missouri: 

"Sib : Inclosed herewith please find an elaborate account 
extracted from the local papers in Missouri and the Northern 
press of the the execution of Colonel Frisby H. McCullough, 
of the Second Division, Missouri State Guard, and sixteen 
privates near the town of Kirksville, in Adair County, 
Missouri, by the United States authorities under the com- 
mand of Colonel John McNeil. The frequent recurrence 



'War of tbe BebelUon, Series II, Volume 4, page 886. 



"MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU" 277 

of the flagrant outrages upon the people of Missouri, and 
especially upon the officers of this Govomnaent assigned 
to duty in that State, is becoming exceedingly disheartaiing 
to our people and calls aloud for retaliation. The papers 
herewith inclosed fully establish the high moral, social and 
official standing of Colonel McCuUough, and I have to urge 
that you bring the subject to the; attention of the Executive 
in order that by summary retaliation a stop may be ^ut to 
these outrages upon humanity and civilization." 

Wa3e Depaetment, 
RiOHMOin), October 8, 1862. 
RoBEET Ottuj, Esq., Agent, etc. 

Sie: Your attention is asked to the inclosed copy of a 
letter from Colonel J. C. Porter, and you are respectfully 
requested to iaform the agent of the United States Govern- 
ment in the strongest language that if this warfare be con- 
tinpled we shall set apart prisoners by lot for retaliation. 
Such atrocities cannot and will not be endorsed. 
Your obedient servant, 

Geo. W. Randolph, 

Secretary of War.^ 

The copy of Colonel Porter's letter is not recorded. 
Colonel Vest wrote to General Price, concerning the 
matter and received this reply.^ 

Headqtjaetees Second Ooeps, 

Ghenada, January ^, 18GS. 
Hon. G. G. Vest, Member of Congress. 

^ie: Greneral Price directs me to acknowledge the 
reception of your communication of the 30th ultimo in 
relation to the murder of Colonel Frisby H. McCuUough by 
the Federal authorities in Northern Missouri, and to state 



•War of the Rebellion, Series II. VAlnme 4, page 912. 
•War of the Rebellion, Series II, Volnme 5, page 804. 



278 WITH PORTER IN NORTE MISSOURI 

in reply that the general is under the impression that 
Colonel McCuUough obtained recruiting authority from him 
at Springfield, last winter. He does not know whether 
Colonel McOullough organized troops under his authority 
or not. Your communication has been referred to Adjutant- 
Greneral Hough, to whom all the books, etc., pertaining to 
the Missouri State Guard were delivered with the request 
that he will furnish to you a copy of the recruiting authority 
given to Colonel McCuUough. The general further directs 
me to say that he will cordially cooperate with you in any 
endeavor that you make to prevent the murder of citizens 
and soldiers of Missouri. 

James M. Loughboeough. 

These official communications settle the military status 
of Colonel McCuUough. General McNeil says (1887) that 
"he was found guilty of bushwhacking or of being a guer- 
rilla," and he adds, "as it was, he suffered the fate that 
would have faUen to you or me if we had been found 
recruiting inside the Confederate lines." 

No record of the military commission can be found. The 
History of Lewis County says he was tried by a court- 
martial. Colonel McCuUough waa not triable by a court- 
martial but by a miUtary conunission. There is the word of 
General McNeil that a commission was held, and he distinctly 
states that the victim wa^ found guilty of bushwhacking 
or of being a guerrilla — ^no other charge, or if any other 
charge wbjb laid it did not appear in the finding. The 
charge was false; the records say so, the facts say so. 
Colonel McCuUough was in no battle and took part in no offen- 
sive movement against the enemy in North Missouri except 
at KirksviUe, and there was nothing in that engagement to 
warrant the charge of bushwhacking against any partici- 
pant. There remains only the intimation that recruiting 



"MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU" 279 

inside the Federal lines merited death without a trial. 
I know nothing of military law and cannot have an opinion 
as to the correctness of that contention, but there are som6 
facts that seem to me to have a beaxing upon it. The State 
of Missouri was a member of the Confederacy. Its area 
was Confederate territory, and Confederate recruiting oflfi- 
cers and the recruiting officers of the State organization 
rendering allegiance to the Confederate Grovemment had a 
right there. Under an act of the General Assembly of the 
State of Missouri, approved October 31, 1861, "declaring 
the political ties heretofore existing between the State of 
Missouri and the United States of America dissolved," and 
certified to by B. F. Massey, Secretary of State, the Congress 
of the Confederate States of America enacted "That the 
State of Missouri be and is hereby admitted as a member 
of the Confederate States of America, upon an equal foot- 
ing with the other states of the Confederacy, under the Con- 
stitution of the Provisional Government of the same," 
approved November 28, 1861.^ The United States Gov- 
ernment recognized the Confederate Govenmient as de facto 
and accorded to it all the rights of belligerents, and this 
recognition applied to Missouri as well as the other 
Confederate states. There were a number of Federal 
regiments and independent companies recruited in Confed- 
erate states and practically inside of Confederate lines. 
A number of these were captured at various times. The 
Confederate Government never executed one on account of 
recruiting inside their lines. 

I can find no mention of tiie court which sentenced Colo- 
nel McCullough to death in the published Government 
records. The Federal troops at Kirksville were Missouri 
State Militia, and the proceedings of courts-martial and of 
military commissions should be on file in the office of the 



'War of tbe Rebellion, Series I, Volume 63, page 758. 



280 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

adjutant-general at Jefferson City. My inquiry there 
brought this reply, dated June 20, 1908 : 

"Deae Sie : I am in receipt of your letter asking informa- 
tion of certain events of Missouri history that occurred during 
the Civil War. I cannot find among the records of Colonel 
McNeil's regiment any answer to the questions by you. 
I would suggeet that you refer to Switzler's History of 
Missouri, and examine the records of the EebeUion covering 
that period. EebeUion Kecord is a government publication, 
and you doubtlees have access to it. 

"Very respectfully, 

"James A. DeAemond, 

"Adjidant-Qeneral." 

If there waa really a court-martial its character and the 
amount and value of the testimony brought before it may 
be judged by the time between the arrival of Colonel 
McCullough at Kirksville and his execution, and the fact 
that the greater part of it was consumed in parading him 
in the streets as a show. Colonel Shaffer is dead and can- 
not defend himself, but I do not believe he would have 
presided over such a court and have approved its finding. 
With some personal knowledge of McNeil, before and after 
the war, I would not believe his word in anything. In 
his official report of the battle of Kirksville he says : "Find- 
ing that fifteen of the persons captured had been prisoners 
before and, upon their own admission, had been discharged 
on their solemn oath and parole of honor not again to take 
up arms against their country under penalty of death, I 
enforced the penalty of the bond by ordering them to be 
shot." Note that in this report there is no mention of 
Colonel McOullough's execution and no mention of any 
court-martial. Note the words "I enforced the penalty of 
the bond." 



"MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU" 281 

If there was a military oonunission it was not conducted 
according to the "Rules and Articles of War." General 
Halleck to General Pope, December 31, 1861, says: 

"I send herewith the proceedings of a military commis- 
sion ordered by Colonel Deitzler, First Kansas Regiment, 
for the trial of certain prisoners at Tipton, Mo., within 
the limits of your command. 

"In the first place, a military commission can be ordered 
only by the General-ia-Chief of the Army or by a General 
commanding a department, consequently aU the proceedings 
of the commission ordered by Colonel Deitzler are null and 
void. The prisoners are therefore in precisely the same 
position as if no trial had taken place. 

"In the second place, military commissions should, as a 
general rule, be resorted to only for cases which cannot be 
tried by a court-martial or by a proper civil tribunal. 
They are in other words, tribunals of necessity, organized 
for the investigation and punishment of offenses which 
would otherwise go impunished. Their proceedings should 
be regulated by the rules governing courts-martial, so far as 
they may be applicable, and the evidence should in all cases 
be fuUy recorded." — ^War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 
8, page 822. 

On the following day General Halleck issued General 
Orders No. 1, setting forth in detail what offenses, relating 
to war, should be tried by court-martial, what by military 
commission and what by civil tribunal and describing how 
courts-martial and military commissions should be conducted. 

Trial or no trial, these executions were the result of the 
bloodthirstiness of that day created by the rabid press of 
the State for political purposes and stimulated by frequent 
orders of which this from Major-General Samuel R. Curtis, 
at St. Louis, to Brigadier-General Ben Loan, at Jefferson 
City, is a sample. Speaking of the rebels he says : 



282 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"So far as they are concerned a reign of terror is the 
proper check to them, and it would be ■well to make them 
understand they will have no sympathy at your hands." 
Speaking of Porter's men, "they deserve no quarter; no 
terms of civilized warfare. Pursue, strike and destroy the 
reptiles and report to these headquarters as often as possible." 
— "War of the KebeUion, Series I, Volume 13, page 688. 

The Missouri Democrat, June 14, 1862, under the head- 
ing, "The Eight Way and the Safe Way," said editorially, 
"Eight bufihwhackers were shot about three miles from 
Lexington, on Sunday last, under the orders of Colonel 
Huston, of the M. S. M. There were ten of the party, and 
eight of them found their rights on the spot. Two escaped. 

"Colonel Huston, we are informed, has given the genjeral 
order that all guerrillas taken lurking or ambushing with 
arms in their hands be shot by the capturing party. Under 
this very proper order the eight were shot." 

Six days later it said: "We learn that the well-known 
secession sheet, the "Leavenworth Inquirer," has been sup- 
pressed, and all parties concerned in the publication are 
secure in the calaboose. Toleration to treasonable sheets of 
the kind in the North has been carried quite too far. There 
is another Inquirer of wider circulation and influence that 
should be shut up." 

On the 27th of the same month it said : "Let those who 
contemplate guerrilla resistance to its (the Federal Gk>vem- 
ment's) power look for guerrilla hangings and shootings 
with short shrift." 



CHAPTEE XXIII 

TEMPORARY DISBANDMENT 

Six days after the battle of Kirksville General Schofield 
reported to General Halleck that Porter's band of three 
thousand men had been driven a distance of not lees than 
three hundred miles and whipped five times in ten days. 
"His entire force is broken up and scattered. He probably 
has not twenty men with him." On the same day General 
Merrill, at Hudson, reported to General Schofield: "The 
country is fuU of wounded from the Kirksville fight. It 
has spread terror among secesh. Porter is used up in North- 
east Missouri and it only remains to organize loyal men 
thereby and arm them and make secesh foot the bills, and 
the matter is forever settled." The next morning, August 
13, the Missouri Democrat said editorially: "General 
Schofield last night received highly satisfactory intelligence 
confirming that of the utter rout of Porter and his brigands. 
Porter's force is entirely and remedilessly scattered, hundreds 
of his men being killed, many more tfiken prisoners and 
the remainder separated and fugitive." 

But the matter was not forever settled and the situation 
was not remediless. On the afternoon of August 9 Captain 
Puroell swooped down upon Columbia so suddenly that the 
Federals walking the streets and sitting under the shade 
trees had barely time to escape to their camp before all 
the streets and roads were picketed. The Statesman — 
Colonel Switzler's paper — says: "After going through these 
preliminaries they proceeded to the jail, demanded the keys 
of the jailor, who surrendered them, and released three 
rebel prisoners therein confined, namely, William E. 



284 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Jackson, of Audrain, William Eowland and Amoe Mar- 
ney, Jr., botli of this county, the latter a cousin of the rehel 
captain, Purcell. The release of these men appeared to be 
the principal object of their visit to Columbia, for shortly 
after this was accomplished they evacuated the town, creating 
no further disturbance. * * * This band was mounted 
on good horses and mostly armed with double-barreled shot- 
guns, A few had United States muskets with some revolvers 
and sabres." Captain Purcell captured eighty-one Grovem- 
ment horses grazing on the pasture of Major Cave, a mile 
north of town, which had been guarded by four soldiers, 
three of whom escaped. 

A little later William M. Eeading, enrolling officer for 
Lewis County, wrote to the Missouri Democrat: "The 
situation of Union men in this county, God knows, is bad 
enough, isolated as they are, with prying and prowling 
devils all around them, watching every motion." 

About the middle of August Porter was reported, accord- 
ing to the Palmyra Courier, to have fifteen hundred men 
in the vicinity of Florida and in consequence there was 
lively marching hither and thither by the forces of Colonel 
McNeil and Majors Eogers and Dodson. A despatch to 
the Hannibal Herald tells of forty rebels from Sharpeburg 
crossing the railroad going south ajid "swearing into the 
Confederacy all they could find," adding that the woods 
below Hunnewell are full of them and that they intend 
to rally ai-ound Porter again. A letter from Lewis County 
calls on the military authorities for more troops, as Porter 
is still at the head of a large guerrilla force, carrying terror 
and dismay through the coimtry. Notwithstanding all the 
reported defeats, demoralizations and scatterings of the rebels, 
there were camps here and there and there were squads 
riding about catching and paroling the militia and with the 
refinement of cruelty stopping them from foraging upon 
the disloyal. As the writer of the above mentioned bitterly 



TEMPORARY DI8BANDMENT 285 

says: "We are hardly able to protect ourselves from attack 
and collect provisions for our present necessities; for our 
only means of subsistence is by foraging off the disloyal 
people of the surrounding country, no provision whatever 
being made by the Government to supply us with anything 
but arms and ammunition." 

The plan of conducting the war "with greater severity" 
seemed to multiply the number of rebels; the burning of 
their houses multiplied it, the killing of prisoners multiplied 
it, confiscations multiplied it, and the reign of terror did not 
terrify. In fact, the Missouri rebel was the most perverse 
and least understandable being on earth. Ohase him a hun- 
dred miles without food, water or sleep and if he gained a half 
hour he tied his horse and ambushed his pursuer. Scatter 
him today and he was one of a swarm to sting the scatterer 
on the morrow. Oast a net around his lair at night and 
daylight would show a water-haul. His horse, as perverse as 
it8 master, would gallop from the Iowa line to the Missouri 
Eiver and in camp, day or night, be as immovable and silent 
as death. 

Comrade J. T. Wallace, of Oakland, Oalifomia, kept a 
record of his experience in the army. He writes: "We 
pushed on after the battle of KirksvUle, hoping to cross 
the North Missouri Railroad before the militia could 
concentrate their forces to oppose us. But in this we were 
disappointed. On the 8th of August we encountered a 
force near Macon City.^ After a short contest here retreat 
was deemed advisable and we marched rapidly back toward 
the Chariton River, farther down. Before we reached 
it the long line of Federal cavalry could be seen on our 
track from Barksville. They took a short cut-off and were 
soon in hot pursuit. When our rear guard had crossed thp 
deep ford of the river they were nearly upon us. This 



'General Merrill In Ills official report designates tUs as near Stockton. 



286 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

place afforded us an excellent opportunity to give them a 
check. The main command continued the line of march, 
while by order of Colonel Porter two companies, commanded 
by Captain Jim Porter and Captain John Hicka, remained 
to ambuscade the enemy at the ford. The ground was 
admirably adapted for this purpose. The river at this 
point was deep for fording and was about two hundred 
yards wide. The road on the east side, where we were to 
take position, followed up the river on high ground and 
nearly parallel with it was a dry sag or low ground which 
curved in such a manner as to afford us ample concealment 
and protection at short range and with full command of the 
ford. We had orders to remain as still as death until the 
enemy began to come up the hill and were fully abreast of 
our line. When the river was full of men and swimming 
horses a murderous fire from the two companies was poured 
upon them at from twenty to one hundred and twenty yards. 
The effect was terrible. Not less, I think, than a hundred 
and twenty-five men must have fallen at the single volley 
from double-barreled shotguns and rifles. Nearly aU who 
fell from any cause into the swift current were drowned amid 
the plunging horses. This stratagem gave us ample time 
to retire to our horses a quarter of a mile away and to escape 
our pursuers. They bombarded the woods for some hours 
after we left before they ventured to cross. This signal 
success was gained on the 9th of August However, being 
foiled in our efforts to cross the railroad and finding our 
way of escape south in a body cut off, it was deemed best 
to disband the or^nization and allow each company to take 
care of itself. This was done on the 11th of August. For 
three weeks we were secluded in the woods foraging quietly 
upon our friends. 

"While Captain John Hicks and his company of about 
ninety men were encamped on the South Fabius, about three 
miles north of Emerson, Marion County, we went out one 



TEMPORARY DI8BANDMENT 287 

night on a scout to learn what the prospects were for a 
general gathering. On our way back to camp the Captain 
thought he would like to pay a visit to his former friend 
and neighbor, Harvey Mann, who, he had heard, was a red- 
hot Union man and qiiite officious as a reporter for McNeil. 
So we called at his house about nine o'clock in the evening 
and found him at home. Captain Hicks remained out of 
sight but in easy hearing while Lieutenant Bowles proceeded 
as the inquisitor, Bowles posed as an officer of McNeil's 
command and asked if he knew of any rebels camped 
in the neighborhood. Our Union friend at once became 
enthusiastic and very communicative. He told us that 
John Hicks and his band of bushwhackers were now camped 
two or three miles from there on the South Fabius and he 
expressed the belief and the hope that the whole crowd could 
be killed or captured, and that he was willing to guide us 
to his camp in the woods. His remarks about Captain 
Hicks and his band of rebels were of the most uncompli- 
mentary character. At this point he was told to put on 
his coat and come along with us, and he recognized the last 
speaker as his neighbor and brother in the Church. With- 
out much delay, but with great fear and trembling he made 
ready to accompany us. Mounting one of his own horses 
he rode away with us, leaving his wife and children 
weeping hysterically. They doubtless expected that he 
would be treated as a Southern man, under similar circum- 
stances, would be treated by McNeil or Rogers, and that 
they would never see him again alive. After a few hours 
in camp and a plain heart to heart talk with Captain Hicks, 
who reminded him of the relation that had so long existed 
between them and' asked him if he had ever known or even 
heard of himself or any of his men taking anything that did 
not belong to them, Mr. Mann confessed that he had- not 
treated Captain Hicks as a brother should, not even as he 
should treat an enemy. He gave a solemn promise that 



288 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

if he were permitted to go home he would ia the future 
attend to his own business and let the men in uniform 
attend to theirs. It may be added that, so far as the writer 
knows, he kept his promise. He was released and rode back 
on his own horse, a wiser man." 

Comrade Phillips says: "When we left the battle-field 
at Kirksville we fell back to the CSiariton Eiver, which was 
barely fordable. I was detailed to guard the ford and 
another detail was placed at the bridge a little farther up. 
We had a big, fat major who had done a lot of blowing 
before the fight. As I waa tryiiig to find the command, I 
found him with thirty or forty men hid in a deep hollow. 
I asked him what he was doing there. He said he was 
waiting for Porter's command. I told him I was covering 
Porter's rear. He did not wait for any other command but 
went like old nick after him.- 

"The morning of the 7th we continued moving in a 
southeasterly direction. I did not get up with the command 
until noon. The Federals camped in Kirksville until the 
8th and then followed our trail. In the meantime, there 
was a force moving from the southwest to head us oS. On 
the 8th we were going up a long open ridge with quite a 
stretch of timber off to our left. All at once the Federals 
opened fire on us; but they made a bad calculation on the 
distance and over-shot us. We fell back to Walnut Creek, 
crossed it, detailed every fifth man to hold horses and 
formed in! line under the bank of the creek, which made a 
nice rifle pit. They came charging down furiously. We 
held our fire until they got almost upon us, and then they 
went back a good deal faster tiian they came. Beyond our 
range their officers halted them, dismounted them, formed 
a line and ordered a charge, but the men never moved a foot. 
The fellow with a bugle got out in front and sounded the 
charge, but no charge. The bugler kept coming a little 
nearer and tried to encourage the men but it was no go. 



TEMPORARY DISBANDMENT 289 

Colonel Porter came along and asked me if I had any long 
range guns. I answered that Ave had three. He told me 
to pick that fellow off. The three boys got up on the bank, 
took rest on trees and fired at command. The fellow 
jumped two feet in the air and fell dead. That was enough 
for the rest; they took wings and fled. The boys mounted 
and went and got the bugle and the bugler's cap. 

"We moved on that evening and the next morning a Dutch 
regiment came in our right and we turned our course. A little 
after noon on the 9th we came to the Chariton and found 
it very deep fording. There was a steep bluff running 
parallel with the river for some distance with just room 
for a good road, and when we crossed the river the road 
ran along the bank for a haK mile and a deep ravine along 
the road. It was just the place to form our line. Colonel 
Porter ordered Major Majors to wait until the advance 
guard got across and up to the head of our column and then 
open fire. The Major got a little bit nervous and ordered 
us to fire a little too soon. The river was full of them 
and the sight was fearful. I do not think a man got out 
tmtil he was draped out the next day. I was told there 
were seventy or eighty taken out We got one prisoner 
and several horses. The Federals went up that bluff on 
their hands and knees. We mounted our horses and were 
a mile or two away when they commenced to shell the woods, 
and for the next ten miles we could hear them shelling the 
woods. We lost one man, and he was shot by our own men. 
He jumped up and ran in front of the line while we were 
firing and was killed. 

"We moved on in a southeasterly direction all the next 
day until about the middle of the afternoon, when Colonel 
Porter called a halt and disbanded us to meet at our several 
company headquarters. So we scattered and left no trail 
for the Federals to follow. Our company scattered to meet 

(19) 



290 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

on Salt River, near Cincinnati, in Kails County, where we 
had a jolly time for two or three weeks." 

Comrade Wine says: "We tried to cross the North 
Missouri Railroad at Stockton but were met by the Yanks. 
We took position behind the bank of a stream that was dry 
and repulsed every charge they made. When their bugler 
sounded retreat I thought it the sweetest music I ever heard. 
When we were hotly pursued on our way to the Chariton 
River, our company — Hicks's — and another company in the 
timber to check the enemy. They would stop, bring their 
artillery and begin to shell the woods and we would move 
on. After crossing the Chariton our company and Captain 
Jim Porter's were left to halt them. A dry slough came 
into the river about twenty feet below the ford. We 
occupied it When we fired it looked to me as if we killed 
a himdred, but I believe they reported it as sixty. One of 
their men was not hurt and we took him prisoner." 

Comrade A. J. Austin says: "From Kirksville we went 
toward the souliwest and then turned eastward, and on 
Friday, the 8'th, we fought another battle at Painter's Creek.* 
A force of several thousand men attacked us. Colonel Porter 
ordered us to go back a mile, hitch our horses and return 
to the creek. There was timber a hundred yards wide on 
the creek. We fought from one o'clock till about night and 
we drove them from the field. We had one man killed 
and one or two wounded. We turned back the same way 
we had come. The next day, after reinforcements had 
come to Macon City, they sent out a large force after us. 
• They came up while we were cooking breakfast. Colonel 
Porter ordered us to move. We were then on the west side 
of the Chariton River and it was up to the saddle skirts, 
so the wagons had to go around some ten or fifteen miles 
to a bridge. In order to give them time. Porter had \is 



'Designated by General Merrill as near Stockton. 



TEMPORARY DI8BANDMENT 291 

dismount and form a line to check the enemy. Ahout the 
time the Feds would get ready to fight we would be up and 
gone. Then the Colonel would line us up again and give 
them another check until he knew the wagons had had plenty 
of time. Then we had orders to go and we left the enemy. 
When we crossed the Chariton, Colonel Porter had some 
large trees cut bo the enemy could not get out with their 
cannon. He then stationed Captain Jim Porter with one 
hundred men to give the Federals a gentle surprise — and 
Jim Porter was the man to do it. When they came to 
cross, the river was swift and high. They rode right in 
and were letting their horses drink and were having a good 
time in the thought that the rehs were gone. Their good 
time lasted a very short time. They were stretched dear 
across, a hundred or more. Our men raised up ^d killed 
or drowned nearly every one of them. We took one prisoner, 
a man about sixty years old. We went east for twenty 
or thirty miles and late that evening Colonel Porter stopped 
out in the prairie and told us that it would be necessary 
for us to disband. Each company was directed to go back 
to its own county and told that it would be called at an 
opportune time. We came to Monroe and were not with 
Porter again until the Palmyra fight." 



CHAPTEK XXIV 

THE CAPTURE OF PALMYRA AND THE 
MURDER OF ALLSMAN 

On his forty-third birthday, Friday, September 12, 1862, 
Colonel Porter captured Palmyra and demonstrated to the 
Federal commanders how powerless they were to defeat his 
plans. The inhuman McNeil, with superior numbers and 
equipments, might run death races over the counties; the 
unspeakable Benjamin might fume and rage and send mur- 
derous men over the trails; the alert and vigilant Guitar 
might make his best endeavor to execute his boast of 
"following Porter to the jumping-off place and of spoiling 
the jumping-off place;" one Federal commander might give 
him battle, another might ravage his camp, others patrol 
the highways and by-ways of his territory, but so resolute 
and so resourceful was his purpose that enlistments went 
on, practically without interruption, until the harvest was 
gathered. The situation was mortifying to the district 
commanders, to General Schofield and to the rabid press 
of the State. The Missouri Democrat, in its issue of July 
22 said editorily: "The many complaints relative to the 
Missouri State Militia and its efficiency in operating against 

guerrilla bands in Northern Missouri naturally 

induce inquiry as to how these things can be, in a country 
occupied by an army triple in numbers that of the enemy. 
The fact stands out in unquestioned clearness that something 
is wrong, either in the army or in the system of warfare 
pursued." 

The something was wrong in both the army and the 
system, but mainly in the system. Inhuman warfare, as 



TEE CAPTURE OF PALMYRA 293 

practiced by !Mcl7eil and Benjamin, and as demanded by 
the rabid press is not always successful, and Porter more 
than matched in generalship the combined Federal command- 
ers who opposed him in the field. Had he possessed half 
their opportunities he would have driven them from the State. 

Colonel Porter captured Palmyra to draw the Federal 
troops away from the Missouri River in order to facilitate 
the escape of companies, squads and individual recruits to 
the main army; to release the Confederate prisoners held 
there and take out of the State Andrew AUsman, a notori- 
ous informer, who was considered responsible for much of 
the misery inflicted upon the inmates of that horrible prison. 

The capture was accomplished without trouble and with- 
out loss. The companies, as directed, to the number of 
about three hundred, left their various rendezvous and 
marched without detection to the designated point on the 
North Fabius River, fifteen or twenty miles north of 
Palmyra. This distance was easily made during the night. 
The lights in the streets of Quincy were glimmering and 
the hoarse soughing of the Keokuk packet in its course 
down the Mississippi could be plainly heard, but not a word 
was said. At daybreak the horses were hitdied in a conveni- 
ent place west of town and the men marched on foot 
through the fields adjoining the town, evading the pickets 
who were stationed on every road. The surprise was 
complete. The place had been occupied fifteen minutes, some 
houses had been surrounded and prisoners taken, including 
Colonel Lipscomb,^ before the militia knew there was an 
armed rebel within fifty miles. There was some firing, but 
it was desultory, with small loss on either side. Little 
attention was paid the militia occupying the town except 
those defending the jail, where were fifty or more Confed- 
erate prisoners. It was taken without loss and the prisoners 



'See appendix Q. 



294 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

liberated. The office of the provost-marshal, a two-room 
log house across the alley from the Spectator office, was 
filled with the personal bonds of Southern sympathizers — 
collateral security for the observance of oaths of allegiance. 
This was raided and every paper carried off. A few of the 
men had the satisfaction of destroying their own bonds. 

Comrade J. T. Wallace, of Oakland, California, says: 
"After about an hour of spirited fighting we gained posses- 
sion of the town, to the infinite satisfaction of its many 
warm-hearted Southern citizens. The cowardly and lech- 
erous Provost-Marshal William R. Strachan, had fled by 
train to Hannibal. His office with most of his precious 
oaths and bonds was taken by us. Every paper of any 
consequence was carried away and destroyed. • I had the great 
pleasure of securing my own personal bond for one thousand 
dollars, as well as the iron-dad oath extorted from me when 
sick, and of using it for gun wadding. 

"Andrew Allsman, a notorious old crone, who haunted 
the provost-marshal's office and made himself particularly 
obnoxious to Southern people by sending troops out after 
them or their stock, was captured. From the first he was 
dreadfully frightened, and not without cause. We moved 
away to the northeast, through Lewis County, and two or 
three days later we were suddenly attacked and had to 
scatter. When we assembled again and asked about Alls- 
man, he was gone. From all I heard from those who were 
guarding him, I have no doubt he met his fate. There 
were scores of men in the command who would have counted 
it a duty and a privilege to end his miserable existence 
rather than that he should escape. 

"I was a prisoner at Hannibal when the ten men were 
shot for Allsman and I knew several of them. John 
McPheeters belonged to Captain John Hicks's company. He 
was a modest, quiet young man with a young family. 
Thomas Humston and I were schoolmates. He was entirely 



THE CAPTURE OF PALMYRA 295 

inoffeasive and not very bright. His father, Larkin M. 
Iliunston, lived only two or three miles from my boyhood 
home. Thomas Humphrey,^ who was among those first 
sentenced to be shot, but afterwards his name was removed 
from the list by Provost-Marshal Straehan, was my cousin. 
His case was very peculiar and especially disgraceful. 
I shall here quote from Captain Griffin Frost's journal. 
'Mrs. Humphrey on hearing of the doom which awaited her 
husband proceeded at once to Palmyra to see if she could 
do something for him. She went to Straehan accompanied 
by her little daughter, leaving her other four children at 
home, and implored him to spare her husband on account of 
her children, begging as only a mother and wife knew how to 
beg for the life of a husband and father. The fiend in human 
shape, seeing that he had the poor heartbroken woman in 
his power, told her if she would accede to his wishes and 
pay him five hundred dollars he would release her husband 
and shoot another in his place. She, in order to save her 
husband, consented and the cowardly villian committed the 
hellish deed of violating her person. While he was thus 
engaged the little girl was seen outside the door crying, which 
led to his detection. The Federal soldiers, suspecting the 
situation, found him committing the act.' 

"I can vouch for the truth of this terrible statement. 
Tom Humphrey was a quiet citizen of Lewis County where 
he lived for many years after the war." 

Comrade J. R. Wine, of Townsend, Montana, says: "We 
battered down the door of the jail and released the rebel 
prisoners. We also took Andrew AUsman, who was noted 
as a reporter and persecutor of Southern people. Just before 

*Mr. R. M. Wallace, cagbler of the bank ot Dolgeville, California, writes: 
"There is absolutely no foundation for tbe statement tbat Hiram Smith 
Tolunteered to die In place of Tom Humphrey. George Humphrey, Tom's 
son, now prominent In KUsaouri politics, has In a way helped to let tbe 
false story be given greater credence. He erected a monument to Smith's 
grave In Shelby County a few years ago, giving as a reason for so doing 
that Hiram Smith sufFered vicariously for his father. So we see how difficult 
It Is to know how much of any history is true." 



296 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

sunset, Sunday, -we heard firing to the north, and the 
Federals came in right after our pickets. We were ordered 
to scatter and I obeyed the order promptly. We all crossed 
the South FabiuB. Most of the command went straight on. 
My brother and I turned into the brush to the right, recrossed 
•the Fabius and went northward. AUsman went with us 
of his own accord. We went ten or twelve miles and camped 
for the night on a small stream called Grassy. The 
next day Colonel Porter came over with thirty or forty 
men. Just before sunset he said to Allsman 'I had 
intended to take you out of the State, but we cannot hold 
you any longer.' Allsman said he was afraid some one 
would kill him and wanted to be sent to a safe place. Porter 
asked what he called a safe place. He said out on the 
public highway or at some loyal man's house, and he asked 
for a guard. Porter told him to choose his guard. He 
selected three men. Porter added three to the number and 
they all left at sunset. The guard returned to camp next 
morning at sunrise. Allsman was about fifty-five years 
old ; five feet, nine inches high ; had blue eyes, and was rather 
good looking." 

Comrade J. B. Threlkeld writes about his prison experi- 
ence in Palmyra: "Provost-Marshal Strachan thought he 
had me pretty well worn out, and writing to my father asked 
him to influence me to take the oath, give bond and go home, 
or he would have to send me to Alton, Illinois, the following 
Monday morning. My father got Uncle Bob Threlkeld and 
Judge Foster to come to Palmyra and see what they could 
do. They got me out that night on parole, fb report neixt 
morning at eight o'clock. Andrew Allsman was in the 
office when I went in and remained there during my entire 
examination. Strachan put a great many questions to me 
which I answered. Allsman told Strachan that he very 
readily recognized me, and that I had done some terrible deeds, 
all of which I denied. It was hard to bear, but circumstances 



THE CAPTURE OF PALMYRA 297 

were such that I had to make the best of it. I told Strachan 
before I took the oath that I would never go into the militia. 
I had been at home two months when the order came for 
every man to go into the militia. I got on my horse and 
went to Porter, taking forty men with me, and we were 
sworn into the Confederate service for three years or during 
the war. When Porter went to Palmyra he burned all of 
Strachan's papers, my oath and bond with the rest, which 
was good for me. He took Allsman with him. At Whaley's 
Mill he released Allsman and furnished him with a horse 
to ride back to Palmyra. I think Allsman's bones lie in a 
cave between Whaley's Mill and Palmyra." 

Comrade R. K. Phillips says: "When Porter captured 
Palmyra he got old man Allsman • who had been a source 
of trouble in that country. I think he was paroled with 
a safety parole — one that he could not break, but it cost 
us dearly. Three of the men killed in retaliation belonged 
to our company: John M. Wade, my wife's first cousin, 
F. M. Lear and Herbert Hudson. The whole ten were men 
of good reputations, and some of them were the best 
in their respective communities, and they were sacrificed 
for a most worthless character; one who knew every man 
in and around Palmyra and was said to be ready to accuse 
everyone. He had caused a great deal of trouble and his 
death was a relief to the country." 

The detail which took Allsman from his bed that Friday 
morning was commanded by Captain J. W. Shattuck who 
had escaped from prison into which he had been cast on 
information furnished by Allsman. A short distance out- 
side of Palmyra all the prisoners except Allsman and three 
others were paroled.^ 

For a long time the fate of Allsman was a mystery. I 
never knew it until I began collecting material for this 



^See appendix R. 



298 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

narrative. There are probably men living today who could 
give more infonnation concerning his death than I have 
been able to get. All accounts agree that he had a guard 
of six men who were directed by Colonel Porter to take 
him to what he considered a place of safety ; that these men 
left camp witli Allsman Monday night and returned at 
daybreak next morning and reported that they had obeyed 
their orders. Did this guard kill Allsman and make a false 
report to Colonel Porter, or did others follow and wreak 
their vengeance on Allsman after the guard abandoned him ? 
Only actual participants in the tragedy, if any survive, can 
answer. It is said that Allsman selected his entire guard; 
it is also said that he selected only three and that Colonel 
Porter appointed three more, and the weight of the testimony 
favors the latter statement. If Colonel Porter selected 
half the guard, I believe it obeyed his orders implicitly and 
that it was innocent of any knowledge of Allsman's death. 

If Colonel Porter had been disposed to connive at or 
knowingly to permit the killing of Allsman he would not 
have prevented the execution of Creek and Dunlap in retalia- 
tion for the killing of the boy prisoner, Fowler, at Florida; 
nor would he have treated as a prisoner of war, Captain 
Lair, taken to Newark, after the latter and Captain Collier 
had ordered the shooting to death after capture of Major 
Owen, of Colonel Porter's first regiment. 

The killing of Allsman was undeserved, but the men who 
were threatened with confiscation and dealli did not reason 
that way. They do not today, they did not yesterday, they 
will not tomorrow. It was unfortunate ; its expiation placed 
an enduring stain upon the name of the State. 



CHAPTER XXV 
THE PALMYRA MASSACRE 

The number of prisoners, citizen and Confederate, killed 
in Missouri during the war by the Federal militia reached 
many hundreds, but no case of single or wholesale slaughter 
created so great an inquiry or so general reprobation as the 
killing of Willis Baker, Thomas Hmnston, Morgan Bixler, 
John Y. McPheeters and Hiram Smith, of Lewis County, 
Herbert Hudson, John M. Wade and Marion Lair, of Ralls 
County, Thomas Sidemor, of Monroe County, and Eleazer 
Lake, of Scotland County, by order of General John McNeil, 
at Palmyra, Saturday, October 18, 1862. 

A notice was served on Colonel Porter by publication in 
the local papers and by a copy placed in the hands of Mrs. 
Porter which read thus: 

Pausitea, Mc, October 8, 1862. 
Joseph C. Pobtbe. 

Sie: — ^Andrew AUsman, an aged citizen of Palmyra, 
and a non-combatant, having been carried from his home 
by a band of persons unlawfully arrayed against the peace 
and good order of the State of Missouri, and which band was 
under your control; this is to notify you that unless said 
Andrew Allsman is returned unharmed to his family within 
ten days from date ten men who have belonged to your band, 
and unlawfully sworn by you to carry arms against the 
Grovemment of the United States, and who are now in 
custody, will be shot as a meet reward for their crimes, among 
which is the illegal restraining of said Allsman of his liberty, 



300 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

and if not returned, presumably aiding in his murder. Your 
prompt attention to this will save much suffering. 
Tours etc., 

W. R. Steachah, 
Provost-Marshal General District N. E. Missouri. 
Per order of Brigadier-Oeneral 

Commanding McNeil's Column. 

The dread day came without light on the fate of Allsman. 
Of the prisoners confined in Palmyra, a list of five was 
made by Strachan himself, who gratified his fiendish hate 
by personally announcing their doom to the selected. This 
announcement was made on the evening preceding the execu- 
tion. The list had on it the name of William T. Humphrey, 
of Lewis County. Mrs. Mary Humphrey had come with 
her little daughter to visit her husband in prison, ignorant 
of the awful sentence. The next morning, on her kneee 
before Strachan, she begged for her husband's life. Strachan, 
maddened by three demons, liquor, lust and human hate, 
named an infamous price, and she paid it. Her little 
daughter sat crying on the doorstep. Two Federal soldiers, 
attracted by the grief of the little one, peered through the 
window and saw the payment of the price. These two 
happened to be men, and in their indignation they took tiie 
news to McNeil who used every means in his power to 
prevent all knowledge of this additional horror. Perhaps 
he had a prescience that the retaliation he had ordered would 
call down upon himself the execration of the whole civilized 
world. It was three months before Mrs. Humphrey revealed 
the secret to her husband. When Humphrey's name was 
taken frpm the list Strachan filled the blank with that of 
Hiram Smith. Two of Smith's brothers had married 
daughters of Willis Baker, one of the condemned. The boy 
was comforting the old man when Strachan informed him 
that he had two hours to live. With a smile he announced 



THE PALMYRA MASSACRE 301 

his readinesa and busied himself with letters to his brothers 
and sisters, his parents being dead. The other five were 
selected by lot from the Hannibal prison. 

Tom Humston, aged nineteen, laughed as he said : "Why 
not death now as well as any other time?" Morgan Bixler 
was a man of strong religious sentiment. Since the birth 
of his two sons his most earnest hope was that they might 
grow up and lead Christian lives and the theme of his 
affectionate letter to his wife was that she might rear them 
as carefully as he had done. He included a message to his 
relatives and friends not to avenge his death, as he had fully 
forgiven his executioners. Lake wrote a brave letter to his 
wife and children commending them to the protection of the 
Almighty in their trials, whieb he exhorted them to bear with 
patience and resignation. 

The fortitude of the ten victims in the face of death 
robbed Strachan of half his pleasure in the deed. McNeil, 
strange to say, did not remain to witness the final scene. 
The ten men kneeling, the Rev. E.. M. Ehodes offered the 
last prayer. Mr. Rhodes and Strachan gave their hands 
to the condemned men. Baker refused Strachan's hand 
saying: "Let every dog shake his own paw." When, the 
evening before, the Rev. J. S. Green in administering 
spiritual consolation had proposed the forgiveness of McNeil 
and Strachan, Willis Baker refused. They were murderers 
he said, and murderers deserved hell and he would not forgive 
anything pertaining to the devil. Let us hope that his 
unforgiveness was for the crime and not the criminals. 

Of all the men. Captain Tom Sidenor aroused the greatest 
interest. Young, handsome, cultivated, of high parentage, 
he had given his best to the cause of the South and the din 
of battle was sweet music to his ear. "Aim here," he said, 
placing his hand over his heart, and his executioners, merci- 
ful to him, did his bidding, but many of the soldiers 
purposely aimed high ; their repugnance and horror preventing 



302 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

them from realizing that obedience to orders was not only 
a duty but a mercy. 

A friend claimed the body of McPheeters at the request 
of his brother. The reply of Strachan was: "You may 
have the whole damned lot for all I care. I have no further 
use for them." But there came a time when he did care, 
and it was not very long in coming. 

The editor of the Palmyra Courier, whoee hatred of 
everything Confederate or Southern was bounded only by 
the scope of his vigorous intellect, gave a minute description 
of the tragedy. Heretofore he had gloried in the killing 
of prisoners, the burning of houses and all the lesser 
"severities," but now, no word of approval for this tragedy, 
and scarcely a word of condemnation for its victims: "He 
(Captain Sidenor) was now elegantly attired in a suit of 
black broadcloth with white vest. A luxurious growth of 
beautiful hair rolled down upon his shoulders which, with 
his fine personal appearance, could not but bring to mind the 
handsome but vicious Absolom. There was nothing especially 
worthy of note in the appearance of the others. One of them, 
Willis Baker, of Lewis County, was proven to be the man 
who last year shot and killed Mr. Ezekiel Pratt, his Union 
neighbor, near Williamstown, in that county. All the 
others were rebels of lesser note, the particulars of whose 
crimes we are not familiar with." 

This account was copied into the Southern papers and 
thus brought to the notice of President Davis and to that of 
the European press. 

Executive Office, 
Richmond, November 17, 1862. 

LlEUTENANT-GENEEAt T. H. HOLMES, 

Commanding Trans-Mississippi Department. 
Geneeal : Inclosed you will find a slip from the Memphis 
Daily Appeal of the 3rd instant, containing an account, pur- 
porting to be derived from the Palmyra (Missouri) Courier, 



THE PALMYRA MASSACRE 303 

a Federal Journal, of thib murder of ten Confederate citizens 
of Missouri, by order of General McN^eil, of the U. S. Army. 
You will communicate by flag of truce with the Federal 
officer commanding that department and ascertain if the 
facts are as stated. If they be so, you will demand the 
immediate surrender of General McNeil to the Confederate 
authorities, and if this demand is not complied with you 
will inform said commanding officer that you are ordered 
to execute the first ten United States officers who may be 
captured and fall into your hands. 

Very respectfully yours 

Jeffeeson Davis. 

Greneral Curtis replied to General Hobnes, St. Louis, 
December 24th, that "General McNeil is a State General, 
and his column was mainly State troops. The matter has 
therefore never come to my official notice. His proceedings 
seemed to have been a kind of police resentment against 
citizens of Missouri who had violated paroles and engaged 
in robbery and murder, and has only been presented by such 
newspaper reports a& you have sent me. I transmit to you 
a slip from the Palmyra Courier of the 12th instant, signed 
by William R. Strachan, Provosl/Marshal, which further 
describes the affair, but I am not so informed of the facts 
as to say whether the slips are true or false. Being thus 
explained by the provost-marshal, I am not disposed to 
meddle with it, and am not therefore authorized to admit 
or deny, justify or condemn." The inclosure referred to 
was the "Vindication of General McNeil,"^ a remarkable 
document, which, being inclosed with the letter of Greneral 
Curtis, entitled it to be published in the War of the Eebellion. 
(Series I, Volume 22, Part I, page 861.) 

The English press considered the massacre the infamy 



^See appendix S. 



304 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

of all histoiy. The London Star, which could see nothing 
good in the South and nothing had in the North, asked : 
"What comment is needed upon a crime like this! Its 
stupidity is as astonishing as its ferocity is terrible." The 
New York Times, equally fierce and unjust to the South, 
echoed the denunciation of the London Star. La a Icnog 
and terrible arraignment it said : "There can be no possible 
justification for such a butchery, and our Government owes 
it to itself, to the country and to the sentiment of the civilized 
world to mark by some prompt and distinct action its repro- 
bation of it." 

Colonel William F. Switrier's History of Missouri, whidi 
is in many places colored by his intense hatred of rebels, 
speaking of "two^ of those atrocities which unhappily 
blacken the history of its civil war in Missouri," says, page 
417 : "One of these atrocities was the execution at Macon, 
Mo., on Friday, the 25th of September, 1862, of traa rebel 
prisoners on the triple charge of treason, perjury and 
murder; and the other the execution at Palmyra, Mo., on 
Saturday, October 18th, 1862, of a similar number to expiate 
the abduction and probable murder by some of Porter's 
band of one Andrew AUsman, a Union citizen of Marion 

County Whatever may be said to excuse, 

extenuate or justify this execution [referring to that at 
Macon] , what can be pleaded to mitigate the horrible butchery 
at Palmyra a few weeks thereafter ?" 

In one of McNeil's frequent visits to St. Louis, after the 
massacre, he was introduced at the Planters' House to a 
Federal general, and advanced, offering his hand; the officer 
turned his back on McNeil, saying: "I do not shake the 
hand of a murderer." I have forgotten the name of this 
general. It was told me in 1867 by a relative, dead many 
years, who had personal knowledge of the incident. 

'There were many more tban two. 



THE PALMYRA MASSACRE 806 

To atein the torrent of indignation and its poBsible oon- 
•equoncea, Straohan wrote hia letter to the New York Times, 
MoNeil procured many signatures to his memorial to Presi- 
(ioiit Linooln, many claiming since that they signed through 
apprehension of the consoquencos of a refusal, and worked 
up all possible influence from every quarter. On the 
twduty-third of January, as the Missouri State Journal, 
published at Jefferson City, put it, "the man who had 
detnonstratod that one loyal citizen was worth ten traitors 
unexpectedly made his appearance in the House" during 
the HPssion of t\\o legislature. His former provost-marshal 
was a naomber from Shelby (bounty. McNeil wos formally 
introduced. Speeches were made. McNeil said it was the 
proudest day of his life and he was deeply grateful for the 
spontaneous endorHeinont of the Eepresentatives of the 
State. 

Tlu< demand of President Davis was considered in Mr. 
Lincoln's cabinet. Political party interest in Missouri, and 
probably in other States, was imperative that MoNeil should 
be upheld, and at that day party was above all other con- 
siderations. The rabid press of the country cried for more 
blood and statesmen echoed the cry. Senator ITcnry S. 
Lane, of Indiana, during the Ohristmaa holidays, his heart 
softened by the memory of the Infant Prince of Peace, 
speaking of rebels, said in the Senate Chamber: "I would 
blast them with lightning; I would rain upon them showers 
of fire and brimstone, for which tlioy are now as ready ns 
Sodom and Gomorrah were in the oldon time." This ex- 
pressed the sentiment. General McNeil was promoted and 
not surrendered, and Mr. Davis did not proceed with the 
threatened retaliation. 

The letter of Straohan is a lurid denunciation of "the 
deep malice, the enormous crimes, the treacheries, the assas- 
sinations, the j>(>r juries that invariably have characterized 
thoHe, especially in Missouri, who have taken up antis 



306 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

avowedly to destroy their Government." The greater part 
of his charges are general, and appeal to prejudice instead 
of reason. Nearly every direct charge is false in part or 
in whole. The ten men executed were not all taken with 
arms in their hands. Sidenor, Baker, Bixler, Humston and 
Smith were not taken with arms in their hands and it is 
doubtful if any of the ten were. They had not taken the 
oath, and it is doubtful if any of the ten had. The only 
man selected for death known positively to have taken the 
oath was Humphrey, and he was allowed by Strachan to go . 
physically unharmed. 

Strachan mentions eight Union men in Northeast Mis- 
souri, besides AUsman, who were murdered. Of these the 
murder of Aylward has been described. The killing of 
James M. Preston was done some time before that of 
Aylward and by order of the same man. The History of 
Shelby County, page 727, says : "Stacy tried Preston, after 
a fashion, found him guilty of playing the spy on him and 
his band, and shot him forthwith." The killing was prob- 
ably as indefensible as that of Aylward, but this much can 
be truthfully said of Stacy: He never molested a man on 
account of his political sentiments. His trial "after a 
fashion" was at least just as formal and honest as McNeil's 
alleged trials. Had the situation been reversed Preston 
would have gotten from the militia what he got from Stacy, 
only he would have gotten it more expeditiously. If Willis 
Baker killed Ezekiel Pratt, and it is believed that he did, 
and if Pratt's widow gave a true account of the killing (see 
History of Lewis County, page 97) he was justified. 
John W. Camegy was a strong Union man, but such was 
his character that he had the respect and good will of every 
Southern man who knew him. His death by the hand of 
Lieutenant Garnett, of Franklin's regiment, in the capture 
of Canton,^ was an accident of the kind that happens some- 

'Hlstory of Lewis County, page 93. 



THE PALMYRA MASSACRE 307 

where every day in the year. When Garnett learned the 
situation he expressed sincere regret, released his prisoners 
and directed them to give the wounded man every care that 
his life might be saved. As to the killing of the other four, 
if they were killed, I have been unable to learn anything. 
It avails nothing in the argument to mention the number 
of men killed by the militia for no other reason than that 
they were sympathizers with the Southern cause, but one 
cannot help remembering that the latter list is very many times 
longer than the former and that it was the first begun. ^ 

The honesty of the statements in the Vindication may be 
guaged by the fact that Strachan signed himself provost- 
marshal twenty days after the office was abolished. The 
falsification of current history was considered necessary to 
strengthen Union sentiment in Missouri and to palliate 
crimes against humanity. It was so generally, and Strachan 
only followed the fashion. The line of this policy, most 
vigorously and persistently followed, was the classification 
oi the men who fought under Porter, Poindexter, Franklin, 
and other authorized officers with those of Anderson,^ James 
and others who brought discredit upon the cause they 
claimed to fight for. 

The claim that this massacre lessened Confederate activity 
in Northeast Missouri is false. Taking out of considera- 



•In the territory of the murders denounced by Strachan I can recall: 
lu Scotland County, Benjamin Dye, near Etna, 1861; Judge Richardson, 
Memphis, November 18, 1861; William Moore, Sand Hill township, 1862, and 
Thomas Bonner and his son, John, near Bible Grove, August 3, 18S2; in 
Clark County, a young man (name forgotten) riding along with Captain 
Joelah McDanlel, Ave miles west of Fairmont — McDaniel escaped; 
Samuel Dale and AqniUa Standlford, at Fairmont, May 26, 1863; Dr. B. R. 
Glasscock, Ave miles southeast of Fairmont. June 16, 1863: Samuel Dillard, 
Bear Creek, August 4, 1864; autumn of 1864, Mr. Moore, near Waterloo; Samnel 
Bryant, three miles south of Kahoka; Samuel Davis, between Fairmont and 
Colony; S. Kibbe, at Athens; in Marlon County, W. G. Flannigan and Jesse 
Mallory, July 24, 1864, near Tucker Mill; in Lewis County, William Gallup, 
October 10, 1864, at MoRticello. 

■Bill Anderson was the most noted guerrilla in Missouri. His meeting 
with Major Johnson, at Centralia, has been called a masancre. It was a 
fair battle. What every Confederate denounces Anderson for are his rob- 
beries and his murder of prisoners. Captain Cox, the militia officer who 
killed Anderson, perhaps his own pistol being the instrument, was a good 
soldier and a man of the highest character, incapable of a cruel or mean 
act. The stamping out of the James gang would have been indeflnltely 
postponed had It not been for the cooperation of the ex-Confederates of 
Jackson and the adjoining counties with Governor Crittenden. 



308 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

tion the fact that about this time Colonel Porter succeeded 
in drawing out his last available man, there was no appre- 
ciable difference. The only effect of the deed, besides out- 
raging the conscience of civilization, was to intensify 
political hate on both sides. 

When the aegis of the militia lost its virtue Strachan fled 
to Old Mexico. Tiring of that country and not daring to 
return to Missouri, he went to New Orleans, where, less than 
a year after the end of the war, he died of a horrible disease, 
friendless and alone. 

When but few Democrats in Missouri were allowed to vote, 
McNeil was elected sheriff of St Louis. Preceding the 
election held April 2, 1889, he was nominated for auditor. 
The only mention of his name in the canvass by the leading 
organ of his party was this, a few days before the election: 
"The Democratic organs are very much disgusted over the 
falsely reported introduction of 'war issues' by Colonel 
Butler, but just watch how they wave the bloody shirt at 
John McNeil because of a trifling event at Palmyra during 
the war." McNeil's ticket was generally successful by 
majorities ranging from 1,186 to 6,142, but he was defeated 
by 4,351 votes. About ten years before this date he was 
nominated for United States Marshal but the Senate refused 
to confirm him. 

McNeil was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, February 4, 
1813. He died on the afternoon of Monday, June 8, 1891, 
in Post Office Station E, 1113 South Jefferson Avenue, 
where he had been superintendent. He was sitting in a 
chair dead, before it was known that he was ill. The Globe- 
Democrat mentioned the fact in its local columns and gave 
the principal events^ of his life, but spoke not a word 
editorially. 



■The notice said that President Oarfield nominated him for Indian In- 
spector and that Senator Armstrong, of Missouri, was the only Democrat 
Totlnr for confirmation. This Is a mistake. Shields sncceeded Armstrons 
and vest succeeded Shields before the Inauguration of Garfield. 



THE PALMYRA MASSACRE 309 

The gifted but eccentric P. Donan, while conducting the 
Lexington Caucasian, published in October of each year in 
burning -words the details of the tragedy, with the statement 
that he should publish it annually while John McNeil lived. 

In 1870 McNeil made an effort to gain some favor with 
the people by entering the campaign on behalf of the liberal 
and against the proscriptive wing of his party, but it was 
useless. The verdict stood. 



CHAPTEE XXVI 
LAST DAYS IN NORTH MISSOURI 

After the capture of Palmyra Colonel Porter marched 
northward into Lewis County not far from Nelsonville. The 
next morning, going toward Newark, he was joined by a 
good company under Captain Kalph Smith, of Lewia County, 
making his force about four hundred. He visited his home 
and went into camp at night near Whalers Mill. Before 
pitching camp he prepared a trap for a detachment of the 
Eleventh Regiment Missouri Militia which, instead of falling 
into it, likewise arranged an ambuscade for the rebels. Both 
troops camped for the night half a mile apart, neither dreaming 
the proximity of the other. 

The next day the movements of McNeil were ascertained 
and Colonel Porter made arrangement for an immediate 
retreat, division of his force and subsequent concentration. 
He had hoped to stay in the vicinity twenty-four hours 
longer to receive much needed supplies, especially ammu- 
nition, already on their way from Edina and Canton. He 
had gotten a good supply of muskets, shotguns, rifles and 
revolvers at Palmyra, but no ammunition, ^nd his powder 
and lead were about exhausted. New arrangements had to 
be made and the time was short, but Porter was always 
ready for any emergency. The camp had scarcely been half 
emptied before McNeil came in closely following the pickets. 
A few shots, with a trifling loss on either side, and the rapid 
retreat began and ended according to direction. That night 
near Judge Bragg's home, in the northeast comer of Shelby 
County, Henry Latimer and John Holmes were captured 
and by order of McNeil were shot at sunrise. McNeil also 



LAST DAYS IN NORTH MISSOURI 311 

ordered Whaley's Mill to be burned, saying: "That mill 
has ground its last grist for the rebel commissary depart- 
ment." The Palmyra Courier, referring to the burning of 
"that notorious rendezvous," said: Such measures look 
severe, but it is only by severe means that these wretches 
can be driven from the country." 

Colonel Porter had now given his last battle in ISTorth 
Missouri. For the next six weeks his whole time and energy 
were spent in getting twelve hundred men through to the 
Confederate lines, the last installment of about five thousand 
sent through during his eventful campaign. There were 
some scouting and skirmishes but they were, like all his 
hard fighting and marching had been, only aids to his great 
purpose. 

On the 16th of September, near Paris, Captain McDonald 
captured Colonel J. T. K. Hayward of the Enrolled Missouri 
Militia under circumstances deeply mortifying to the latter. 
On his way from Hannibal to Macon City he was riding 
with three men a mile and a half in advance of his regiment, 
and stopped at a farm house near the road for dinner. 
Seeing a small force of mounted men passing by and 
mistaking them for expected reinforcements from IN'ew 
London, he sent his orderly to tell them that he wished 
to see them. The Palmyra Courier, describing it, says: 
"The sergeant obeyed and informed the passers-by that 
Colonel Hayward wishes to speak with them. 'Ah, the 
colonel wishes to see us, does he ? ' So the colonel came 
out and saw more than he bargained for — a band of bush- 
whackers — and himself a prisoner ! The rebs coolly possessed 
themselves of the colonel's horse and brace of pistols 
and, after administering the usual oath, released him." The 
St. Joseph Journal of the 21st made this comment: 
"For a colonel accompanied by three men to stop for 
dinner in the heart of the enemy's country, and then in- 
struct his sergeant to hail them — apprise them of his where- 



312 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

abouts — is strategy extraordinary — a strategic maneuver 
that would put to shame any of those which Orpheus C. 
Kerr so graphically describes of the celebrated Mackerel 
Brigade." 

Few men could have accomplished what Colonel Porter 
did in September and October, 1862. Heretofore wherever 
he went he evaded or fought a force superior in equipment 
and nearly always superior in numbers. The foe was every- 
where active and relentless. Only the touch of the master- 
hand could solve the problems of the enrollment of every 
available man, of clearing the way for the escape of those who 
elected to go direct to the seat of war, of arming, equiping 
and subsisting the dare-devils who preferred to follow him, 
of maintaining and guarding them with great success against 
the usual fortunes of war and o| finally placing them under 
the unfurled Confederate banner. But now the difficulties 
greatly increased. To still the sentiment created by- the 
execution of prisoners at Kirksville, Macon> City, Palmyra 
and elsewhere, it must be shoAvn that their effect made peace 
and quiet in that quarter of the State. Therefore : greater 
numbers, greater vigilance, greater fury, for the suppression 
of the pestiferous rebels. 

To forward the main purpose, the proposition of surren- 
dering some of the companies was considered. It was thought 
that if a few companies surrendered under the lead of officers 
capable of managing the job skillfully, the way might be 
made easier for the crossing of the Missouri Kiver. The 
difficulty was to get the men to agree to the scheme. Only 
enough of two companies consented to make the plan a 
partial success. Captain Gabriel S. Kendrick, a good soldier 
and competent officer volimteered. Negotiations with McNeil 
were begun the latter part of September or the first of 
October, and the Captain and all of his men that were 
willing to take the risk, surrendered. McNeil's report to 
Merrill states that this "captain of a guerrilla company 



LAST DAYS IN NORTH MISSOURI 313 

under Porter" surrendered "nearly every man in his 
command" — twenty-seven men, sixteen horses and saddles 
and as many guns and pistols. McNeil's reported is dated 
October 11 ; how many days elapsed between the surrender 
and the sending of the report cannot now be ascertained — 
most probably eight or ten. Kendrick had one of the largest 
companies under Porter at Kirksville, and his deceiving 
McNeil in accounting for the remainder was in puiBuance 
of the plan agreed upon. Kendrick magnified many times 
the losses sustained by Porter and Franklin, and represented 
to McNeil that the numbers reported to be operating with 
Porter were greatly over-estimated ; that there was a division 
of sentiment among the men — ^Porter and some of the officers 
wishing to continue the campaign of bushwhacking in North 
Missouri while the majority of the men much preferred to join 
the main army at once; that in consequence of the few 
boats left on the river being so well guarded there was little 
hope of crossing the Missouri ; that discontent was growing, 
and that he and his men decided to risk a surrender for 
the sake of an exchange. 

A few other detachments were surrendered and generally 
these movements were successful in getting through by 
exchange and by some improvement of conditions on the 
Missouri River. (Jfomrade R. K. Phillips was elected captain 
and Tod Powell first lieutenant of a new company which 
expected to cross the Missouri without much difficulty or 
delay. Finding the situation not so promising, most of the 
members voted to surrender in the event of a reasonable 
chance for a speedy exchange. Comrade Phillips communi- 
cated with the Federal authorities at Mexico and arranged 
the matter satisfactorily; but he had no confidence at that 
time in the word of a Missouri Federal so, turning the 
execution of the plan over to Lieutenant Powell, he, with 
Joe Inlow and Sam Murray went south by way of Kentucky. 

Previous to this, Phillips had been collecting scattered 



314 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

detachments, awaiting notice to meet on the Missouri River, 
and had been in the unsucoeseful effort to cross with twelve 
hundred. In scouting for this purpose, while waiting for 
breakfast at a farmhouse six militiamen came along the 
road. The rebels numbered only seven — evenly enough 
matched to have a rattling time — ^but the six were easily 
captured. They were paroled and only one of them violated 
its terms. About the same time Dick Underwood, Al Purvis 
and a man named Kelso were captured by Colonel Smart's 
regiment of militia and shot. The scouting party of seven 
separated with the understanding to meet the following 
Monday night at Joel Pierce's, on Spencer Creek, Speno^ 
and Sutton going to Pike County, Dan Ely and Press Yeager 
going to Salt River, Thomas J. Pettitt, Jim Ely and R. K. 
Phillips to Lick Creek. When Spencer and Sutton reached 
the rendezvous they ran into a detachment of Federals. 
Sutton was a dead shot, but he had just traded his horse for 
a young and imtried one and when he pulled his gun the 
horse reared and wheeled around. Before he could recover 
and fire he was shot to death. He lived only long enough 
to tell the Federals that our men would be on the scene in 
a few minutes and that they had better get away in a hurry. 
They took his advice. When the others came up Sutton 
was dead. Sutton was a mere boy but Ijie had a character 
that made him respected and popular; handsome, well 
educated, carefully reared by pious parents, brave, untiring 
unselfish. He was the grandson of the Rev. Jesse Sutton, 
a patriarch of the Methodist Church in Northeast Missouri, 
whom I well knew, whose character was redolent of every- 
thing good and noble and who was a fit successor to another 
old Methodist patriarch, the Rev. Andrew Monroe — Father 
Monroe — as known far and near from fifty to eighty years 
ago. 

An arrangement had been made to cross twelve hundred 
men over the Missouri River at Portland, Callaway County, 



LAST DAYS IN NOBTE MISSOURI 315 

on the 16th of October, and Moore's Mill was designated 
the rendezvous. Through some misunderstanding a thousand 
men were two or three hours late. A detachment of Oolonel 
Krekel's regiment reached Portland^ in the interval between 
the passage of about two hundred men and the arrival of the 
main body. The small detachment of Confederates on the 
north side of the river were outnumbered five to one and 
could make but little resistance.. But for this mistake the 
whole body could have crossed with trifling loss. As it was 
the thousand men went through singly and in small squads, 
and by various routes, the greater part by crossing the 
Missouri River, but many by way of Kentucky and Virginia. 
Colonel Porter sometime afterwards crossed the river in a 
skiff at Providence, Boone County, and reached the army 
in Arkansas with thirty-five men, having many skirmishes 
on the way and losing some of his best men. 

The men who crossed on the Emilie at Portland were 
commanded by Captains Ely and Craig. They were ambushed 
by the Federals two days later at California House, Pulaski 
County, and extricated themselves without much loss, inflict- 
ing very slight loss upon the hidden enemy. The report of 
Colonel Sigel* estimates our loss at twenty killed and about 
the same number wotmded. It further says that the rebels 
"were commanded by Captain Ely, Captain Brooks and two 
captains both with the name of Creggs." In Captain D. W. 
Craig's company the first lieutenant was G. R. Brooks and 
the second lieutenant, W. W. Craig. Its first muster roll 
after being assigned to the Ninth Missouri Infantry, Con- 
federate Army, dated November 9, 1862, makes no mention 
of casualties in the engagement with Sigel's men. The loss 
of Ely's company is unknown, but was doubtless slight. The 
Federals frequently counted Confederate losses throu^ 
magnifying glasses. 



'See appendix T. 
'Sec appendix tJ. 



316 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

The report of Majoi^Gteneral Hindman to Adjutant- 
General Cooper, dated Kichmond, June 29, 1863, says: 
"In the enrollment and organization of troops from Missouri, 
Brigadier-Generals Parsons and McBride; Colonels Clark, 
Payne, Jackman, Thompson, Porter, McDonald and Shelby; 
Lieutenant-Colonels Caldwell, Lewis and Johnson; Majors 
Murray, Musser and Pinchall, and Captains Standish, 
Buchanan, Cravens, Perry, Quantrell and Harrison were 
especially zealous and useful. In estimating the value of 
their labors and of the many other devoted men who assisted 
them, it is to be considered that in order to bring out recruits 
from their State it was necessary to go within the enemy's 
lines, taking the risks of detection and punishment as spies, 
secretly collecting the men in squads and companies, arming, 
equiping and subsisting them by stealth and then moving 
them rapidly southward through a country swarming with 
Federal soldiers and an organized militia, and whose popula- 
tion could only give assistance at the hazard of confiscation 
of property and even death itself. That they succeeded at 
all under such circumstances is attributable to a courage and 
fidelity unsurpassed in the history of the war. That they 
did succeed beyond all expectation is shown by the twelve 
fine regiments and those batteries of Missouri troops now 
serving in the Trans-Mississippi Department." 

The enumeration of General Hindman does not include 
all the Missouri recruits of the simimer of 1862. Many 
joined Missouri regiments operating in Tennessee and many 
joined Virginia and Kentucky troops. 

Ben Loan, chairman of a delegation representing the 
counties of the Seventh Congressional District, in relation 
to the condition of affairs in Missouri, in a communication 
to President Lincoln, October, 1863, says — ^War of the Re- 
bellion, Series I, Volume 53, page 581 — "During General 
Halleck's absence at Corinth and elsewhere, General Sehofield, 
as district commander and as major-general of the Missouri 



LAST DAYS IN NORTH MISSOURI 317 

State Militia, had unlimited control and the direction of mili- 
tary affairs in Missouri. In the summer of 1862 he per- 
mitted the State to be overrun by guerrillas. Porter, in the 
northeast, was allowed to raise more than five thousand 
armed men, who ravaged that part of the State for a long 
time, killing great numbers of Union men and stealing large 
quantities of property." 



CHAPTEE XXVII 
HIS LAST BATTLE 

"At the command a thousand warriors sprang to their 
feet and with one wild Missouri yell burst upon the foe; 
officers mixi with men in the mad melee and fight side by 
side; some storm the fort at the headlong charge, otiiers 
gain the houses from which the Federals had just beeaa driven, 
and keep up the fight, while some push on after the flying 
foe. The storm increases and the combatants get closer and 
closer. 

"I heard the cannon's shivering crash 

As when the whirlwind rends the ash ; 

I heard the musket's deadly clang, 

Afl if a thousand anvils rang !" 

So read the report of that enthusiastic, dashing cavalryman, 
General Joe Shelby, of the capture of Hartville, Wright 
County, Sunday, January 11, 1863. 

General Marmaduke, commanding, said officially : "Janu- 
ary 10 a junction was made with Porter, near Marshfield, 
who had captured the militia (some fifty) and destroyed 
the forts at Hartville and had also burned the fortifications 
at Hazlewood. On the night of the 10th the column was 
put in motion toward Hartville. A little before daylight 
the advance encountered a Federal force coming from Hous- 
ton via Hartville to Springfield, and hearing that a strong 
cavalry force was in my rear I deemed it best not to put 
myseK in battle between the two forces, but to turn the force 
in my front and fight them after I had secured, in case of 
defeat, a safe line of retreat. This I did by making a detour 



HIS LAST BATTLE 319 

seven miles, and fought the enemy (two thousand five 
hundred Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri troops) at 
Hartville. The Federal position was a very strong one and 
the battle was hotly contested for several hours till the enemy 
gave way and retreated rapidly and in disorder, leaving their 
dead and wounded, many arms, ammunition and clothing on 
the field and in my possession. I have established a hospital, 
leaving surgeons and attendan.t8 sufficient to take care of the 
dead and wounded. Confederate and Federal. Here fell 
the chivalrous McDonald, Lieutenant-Colonel Wimer and 
Major Kirtley, noble men and gallant officers, and other 
officers and men equally brave and true. Here, too, was 
seriously wounded Colonel J". C. Porter, a brave and skillful 
officer. He was shot from his horse at the head of his troops." 

Colonel Porter's report of the movements culminating in 
the capture of Hartville, dated February 3, is here given. 
The writer of the report is unknown. The style is not 
Colonel Porter's; his was direct, forceful and concise. He 
was physically unable to write a report, being so seriously 
wounded that he died fifteen days later. 

"Sir : In obedience to your order I, on the 2d day of Jan- 
uary, 1863, detached from my command (then encamped at 
Pocahontas, Randolph County, Arkansas) the effective men 
of my command, numbering in the aggregate eight hundred 
and twenty-five men, and proceeded westward with said 
detachment through the counties of Lawrence and Fulton, 
in the State of Arkansas. Arriving at or near the north- 
western comer of Fulton County I learned of a considerable 
force of Federals stationed at Houston, in Texas County, 
Missouri. I therefore continued my march farther to the 
west, going farther west than I had anticipated. Arriving 
at a point nearly due south of the town of Hartville, in the 
county of Wright, State of Missouri, I changed my course 
northward and in the direction of said town (Hartville). 
However, before changing my course to the north on account 



320 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

of the roughness of the roads and the impossibility of having 
my horses shod, I was compelled to order about one hundred 
and twenty-five of my men back to camp, as being unable 
to proceed farther for want of shoes on their horses, leaving 
my detachment only seven hundred strong. No incident of 
importance occurred worthy of note up to this time, save that 
my men so well behaved that I enabled to surprise all citizens 
along the road and enabled me to capture some of the 
worst jayhawkers that infested the country. 

"The men of my command seemed weU satisfied and aU 
things went well, notwithstanding the hardships all were 
compelled to imdergo on account of shortness of provisions 
and clothing. 

"On the morning of the 9th of January, 1863, we neared 
the town of Hartville, Wright County, Missouri, at which 
point I learned that a company of the enrolled militia of 
Missouri was stationed. Putting my command in order, I 
detached a company as advance guard, ordering ihem to 
reconnoitre, to ascertain the position and, as far as possible, 
the strength of the enemy. Following my advance I found 
upon approaching the town that the enemy, forty strong, 
had surrendered to my advance without firing a gun. Before 
approaching the town, however, I ordered the detachment of 
Colonel Burbridge's regiment, under command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel John M. Wimer, to support Captain Brown's battery ; 
the rest of my command, Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell and 
Colonel JefFers, marching under my immediate command. 
Upon the surrender of the town, we took thirty-five piisonfirs 
(militia) and two United States soldiers and some citizens, 
and destroyed the fortifications with two hundred stand of 
arms, finding no commissary or quartermaster's stores or 
trains. 

"Eemaining in Hartville until 8 p. m. of the 9th of 
January, and receiving no orders from you as I had antici- 
pated, I concluded to march upon Lebanon by way of Hazel- 



HIS LAST BATTLE 321 

"wood, and immediately despatched a messenger informing 
you of my plans. 

"At 8 p. m. of the 9th of January, I moved my command 
upon the road to Marshfield some six miles and bivouacked 
till sunrise on the morning of the 10th of January, when 
I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Wimer to proceed with his 
command to the town of Hazelwood and, finding the place 
evacuated by the enemy, forthwith burned the blockhouse and 
rejoined my command some two hours after I had met the 
balance of my command ; joined yours about four miles from 
the town of Marshfield. 

"At 3 o'clock p. m. my command was ordered back three 
miles on the road to Hartville to encamp. At 11 p. m. I 
received orders to proceed with my command to Hartville, 
at which hour I moved my command in the direction of said 
town, sending in advance the detachment of Colonel Bur- 
bridge's regiment under command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Wimer, to take possession of and operate the mill at Hartville, 
following with the rest of my command to wit, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Campbell, Colonel Jeffers and Captain Brown's 
two-gun battery. 

"The advance, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wimer, when 
within five miles of the town of Hartville (at 3 a. m., 11th 
of January), were fired upon by Federal pickets, upon which 
Colonel Wimer fell back a short distance, dismounted his 
command and formed in line of battle, immediately after 
which a scout of Federal cavalry advanced upon Colonel 
Wimer's command. Arriving very near they were fired upon 
by Colonel Wimer's command, killing two, and killing and 
wounding several horses. 

"Upon receiving information of the enemy in front, I 
ordered Colonel Wimer to skirmish with the enemy and to 
fall back gradually upon my command, at the same time 
ordering Captain Brovm's guns in position in the center, 

(21) 



322 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

with Colonel Campbell on the right and Colonel Jeffers on 
the left ; also despatching a courier to you. I continued my 
advance as akinnishers imtil daylight and your arrival, the 
enemy during the time shelling to the right and left of my 
line, slightly wounding one of my men in the leg. Whilst 
the advance, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wimer, were falling 
back upon my line, the sharpshooters of Colonel Campbell, 
by mistake, fired upon and wounded two of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Wimer's command. 

"At 1 a. m. (11th January), I was ordered to fall back 
and follow your command which I did, however, keeping 
my battery (Captain Brown) in position for a time, when 
I perceived Federal cavalry advance up the road and ordered 
Captain Brown to open on them; upon which Captain 
Brown fired two rounds dispersing them but doing no further 
damage. Captain Brown then limbered up his guns and 
fell back with the other command. After marching, per 
order, until about 1 p. m., we again neared the town of 
Hartville. I was then ordered to dismount my command 
and place Captain Brown's battery in position on the left. 
Before having completed or carried out the last order, I 
received information that the enemy were in full retreat 
from the town of Hartville, and at the same time an order 
to remount my command and pursue the enemy. On 
arriving at the courthouse with the head of my column, I 
found the enemy formed in the brush just above the town, 
within fifty yards of my command. laimediately upon 
perceiving the enemy in position, I ordered my men to dis- 
mount; but the enemy poured upon us such a heavy volley 
of musketry that my command was compelled to fall back 
somewhat in disorder, I being at the same time wounded in 
the leg and hand. I ordered my adjutant to report the fact 
to you. Having, at the same time that I ordered my men 
to dismount, ordered Captain Brown's battery to take position 
near the head of my column; after Captain Brown took 



HIS LAST BATTLE 323 

position as ordered, he was compelled for want of ammunition 
(his ammimition being carried off by his horses stampeding) 
and a galling fire of the enemy, to retire, leaving his pieces 
on the field, which were afterwards brought off by a part of 
Colonel Greene's and Burbridge's men. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Wimer was shot dead whilst leading the detachment of 
Colonel Burbridge's regiment Colonel Jeffers, without fear, 
led his men through the fight. The detachment of Colonel 
Greene's regiment was gallantly led by Lieutenant-Colonel 
L. C. Campbell, assisted by Major L. A. Campbell. I would 
do great injustice did I make distinction among my officers 
present on that occasion, all having displayed great gallantry. 
My men, I must say, acquitted themselves with honor, almost 
without exception. Our loss foots up six killed and thirty- 
eight wounded. I would here mention that Captain Greorge 
R. McMahan and fifty of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell's 
men destroyed the blockhouse and stockade at Dallas, the 
enemy fleeing before him. 

"On our, return march from Missouri my men and officers 
displayed great energy in undergoing the fatigues and priva- 
tions necessary. Arrived at Camp Salado, Janury 20, 1863. 
EespectfuUy, 

Jo. C. PORTEB, 

Colonel Commanding Porter's Brigade. 
Geneeal Maemaduke. 

I have heard the order sending Colonel Porter into the 
death trap at Hartville criticized by Missouri Confederate 
officers, but wherever the responsibility may have been 
Colonel Porter rapidly placed his command in a better 
position to withstand greatly superior numbers before he 
was severely wounded, and his men after the first severe 
loss, stood bravely the unequal contest. In his report Colonel 
Porter modestly refers to this part of the engagement and 
places no blame anywhere. Here, as everywhere, when act- 
ing in a subordinate capacity he implicitly obeyed orders. 



324 y^ITB. PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Evans's Confederate Military History, volume IX, page 114, 
thus describes the ending of the battle : 

"Shelby, in the rear, heard the uproar and with intuitive 
knowledge divined the cause. Without waiting for orders 
he rushed his command forward, crossed the stream at the 
nearest point and dismounting his men, charged through 
an open field to gain possession of the fence and strike the 
enemy in the flank. But the Federals held the fence with 
terrible tenacity and twice his brigade was beaten back. 
The third time he accomplished his purpose, drove the enemy 
before him and saved Porter's brigade and the day. But 
the loss was fearful. Colonel John M. Wimer and Col- 
onel Emmett MacDonald were killed and many field and 
company officers. Colonel Joseph C. Porter was shot from 
his horse and seriously wounded at the head of his troops. 
Shelby mentioned of his command Major George R. Kirtley 
and Captain C. M. Turpin, of the Mrst, killed; Captain 
Dupuy, of the Second, lost a leg; and Captain Washington 
McDaniel, of Elliott's scouts, fell with a bullet through his 
breast just as the enemy retreated. Lieutenant Koyster 
was left on the field badly wounded; Captains Crocker, 
Burkholder, Jarrett and Webb, of the Second, were also 
severely wounded; Captain James M. Garrett fell in the 
front of the fight Captains Thompson and Langhorn and 
Lieutenants Elliott, Haney, Graves, Huff, Williams, Bullard 
and Buckley were also severely wounded. Shelby was hard 
hit on the head and his life was saved by the bullet glancing 
on a gold badge he wore on his hat 

"That night, January 11th, the dead were buried by star- 
light and the next morning the command moved slowly and 
son'owfully southward. Colonel John M. Wimer and Col- 
onel Emmett MacDonald were citizens of St. Louis. Colonel 
Wimer had been mayor of the city and was universally 
respected. Colonel MacDonald was bom and reared there 
and, though a much younger man than Colonel Wimer, was 



HIS LAST BATTLE 325 

almost as well known and as highly respected. The hodies 
of both were taken to the city by their friends for burial. 
But the provost-marshal there, Franklin A. Dick, refused 
to allow them decent and Christian burial, and had their 
bodies taken from the houses of their friends at night and 
buried in unknown and unmarked graves in the common 
potters' field. 

"The retreat to Arkansas was a severe one. It was now 
in the middle of January and the weather suddenly became 
very cold. The change was ushered in by a snow which 
lasted ten hours. The snow covered the earth to the depth 
of nearly two feet and, freezing on top, made marching 
difficult and dangerous to men and horses. Many of the 
men were poorly dad and suffered greatly, some of them 
having their hands and feet frozen." 

Captain Emmett MacDonald — ^the title by which we knew 
him when we joined Price's army — ^was an officer in the 
camp of instruction at Camp Jackson. Of all the men cap- 
tured there he refused to be paroled, claiming that the organi- 
zation of which he was a member was created by a law of 
the State, that when captured it was engaged in duties 
ordered by the State in conformity with the State law; that 
the capturing forces had no legal status, not being authorized 
by any State or Federal law. His contention was upheld 
by the courts and he was released from custody. Lieuten- 
ants Guibor and Barlow, on the strength of this decision, 
considered their paroles illegal and immediately joined 
Price's army and the former was assigned to the command 
of the battery attached to Parsons's Division. In the cartel 
between Generak Fremont and Price, the latter however 
protesting that the capture of Camp Jackson was done by 
a force not recognized by law, State or Federal, First Lieu- 
tenant Henry Giiibor, of the Missouri Light Battery, was 
exchanged for First Lieutenant J. Skillman, of the First 
Illinois Cavalry, and Second Lieutenant W. P. Barlow, of 



326 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

the Missouri Light Battery, -was exchanged for Second Lieu- 
tenant H. Fetter, of the Fourteenth Missouri. MacDonald 
was given the command of a company of cavalry. At the 
battle of Carthage, in the temporary confusion due to the 
separation of the unarmed cavalrymen to be sent to the rear 
preparatory to the cavalry attack upon the enemy's flank, 
Captain MacDonald took his company out on the high 
prairie in full view of every man in each contending army 
and in the midst of the flying shell and canister made it 
perform all the best maneuvers of the tactics. It was a beau- 
tiful sight and very inspiring to us who there got our first 
view of real war. He was an ideal soldier, brave, reliant, 
energetic, attentive to detail, exacting in duty yet courteous 
and gentle, brilliant in mental grasp, proficient in books, 
delicate in sense of honor, unassuming, modest. 

Colonel Porter's vigorous constitution was unequal to the 
effect of his severe wounds and the consequent exposure to 
the hardships of a long march in winter. He died in camp 
near BatesviUe, Arkansas, February 18, 1863. 




CAPTAIN JAMES W. PORTER 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

LETTERS FROM COLONEL PORTER'S 
FAMILY 

Palmyra, Mo., July 28, 1908. 

My father, Joseph Chrisman Porter, was bom in Jessa- 
mine Comity, Kentucky, September 12, 1819. His mother's 
name was Rebecca Chrisman. His parents moved to Marion 
County, Missouri, in 1828, and there he was married about 
1844, to Miss Mary Ann E. Marshall. Several years later 
he moved to Knox County where he lived until 1857 when 
he moved to Lewis County, five miles east of Newark. 

We have no picture of him ; the only one we ever had was 
destroyed when our home was burned by the soldiers during 
the war. 

I do not know of any special circumstance that led to 
his joining the army. He was a man of strong convictions 
and, from the first, sympathized with the South. He had 
for neighbors a number of Northern men who made things 
very unpleasant for him in many ways. I think this perhaps 
hastened his decision to join the army, but cannot say how. 
I do not know the names of the officers under him in 1862. 
Tou can probably get them with any other information in 
regard to him from my uncle, Mr. William M. Glasscock, 
Cherrydell, Missouri. 

I knew Colonel McCuUough. He has a sister living, Mrs. 
James Moore, La Belle, Lewis County. 

My uncle's name was James William Porter, he was a 
captain and then a major. 

The Palmyra Courier was published by Mr. Joseph R. 
Winchell. About 1863 he moved it to Hannibal and con- 



328 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Unued the publication there. I do not know when it was 
established or when it was discontinued. Mr.Winchell is 
collector of customs at the port of New Haven, Connecticut 

Very sincerely, 

Mks. O. M. White. 

In reply to further inquiries Mrs. White wrote again, 
August 10: 

My father and Uncle James went south with Colonel 
Martin E. Green's regiment in time to join General Price in 
the attack on Lexington, September, 1861, where Mulligan's 
brigade was captured. Colonel Green raised his regiment 
in Lewis and the neighboring counties and my father was 
lieutenant-colonel. Early in the spring of 1862 my father 
came home to raise recruits for the Southern army. He 
was colonel of the regiment and Uncle -Tames was captain 
of a company of boys from Marion and Lewis Counties. 
This company was called "the yearlings" on account of the 
youthfulness of its members. 

The Union soldiers came to our home many times to arrest 
my father, usually in the day time, but several times at 
night. At one of these times they burst the door open 
before we could get out of bed to answer them. They never 
found anyone there except women and children, though Uncle 
James, at several different times, camped near the house for 
several days at a time and we carried provisions to him. 

On the night of March 2, 1862, a company of Glover's 
men came to our home and were quartered there and at 
Uncle James's house until the 5 th. They had full possession 
of Unde James's house and left us only one room of our 
home. They took all our provisions; even burned meat in 
the stove and took everything in the house they wanted. 
Among other things, they found a pair of white yam socks 
which I had made with a Confederate flag knitted into each 
sock. I was then about sixteen years old. They had a num- 



LETTERS FROM PORTER'S FAMILY 329 

ber of citizen prisoners confined under guard in our kitchen. 
I was acquainted with some of these men and one evening 
they asked me to sing some secession songs. I refused until 
the soldiers joined in the request when I sang several 
Southern songs. The officer in command ordered the guard 
not to let me out that night, but the guard was changed 
before I tried to leave the room and, for some reason, the 
new guard did not detain; me. My uncle's house was robbed 
just as ours was and left in a terrible condition. 

My mother was taken prisoner in 1862 by Colonel 
Lipscomb and was kept one night at the home of Mr. Seeber, 
one of our Union neighbors, where Lipscomb was quartered 
for the night. She was arrested as she was passing the 
house. The children, not knowing what had become of her, 
remained alone all night. L'^ncle James's two children weye 
there with my six brothers and sisters, the oldest was not yet 
fourteen and the youngest less than two years old. Colonel 
Lipscomb abused my mother, calling her; among other names, 
a "she wolf." She was kept in a room guarded by soldiers, 
and though she was well acquainted with the women at the 
house, not one of them went near her. 

About the burning of our home, I cannot give you any 
very definite information. I was away at school. I am 
not certain what year it was but think it was in the Fall of 
1863 or 1864. Nobody was at home except my mother and 
the younger children. My oldest brother was out hunting, 
and my mother had with her her five children, two of Uncle 
James's and several of Uncle Dr. Marshall's small children. 
They were all in bed asleep except my mother, who frequently 
did not retire before midnight. I do not know anything 
about how the house was fired, but the fire started on 
the outside and on the side nearest to Mr. Seeber's where 
the Union soldiers were quartered for the night. My mother 
was not able to save anything except the children. All of 
our near neighbors were Union men and not one of them came 



330 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

to offer aid. The soldiers at Mr. Seeber's -watched the fire 
from its very start. The children were sleeping upstairs 
and as several of them were quite young — from two to six 
years old — it was very hard for my mother to get them all out 
and take care of them in the confusion. The two colored 
girls who were staying with her were too small to be of any 
help at such a time. My oldest sister carried out a few 
pieces of clothing, but nothing of any importance. Aside 
from these they did not save any clothing except the night- 
clothes they had on. Every one has always thought that 
the soldiers set fire to our house. 

In regard to Mr. Lipscomb, I have always understood that 
my father paroled him at the capture of Palmyra. I feel 
sure my father did not '"forget" it, and so far as I have heard, 
Lipecomb never violated his parole. 

Very respectfully, 

Mbs. O. M. White. 

Colonel Porter's sister who signs herself Mary Love 
Porter Myers, "all that is living," writes from Newark, 
Missouri : 

We came to Missouri in the Fall of 1829. My brother, 
Joseph Chrisman Porter, attended Marion College, at Phila- 
delphia, Marion County. He was a member of the Presby- 
terian Church. He was a prosperous farmer and cattle 
trader, but no slave holder. He married Mary Ann Marshall, 
of Marion County, who died at DeWitt, Arkansas, about 
two years after the war closed. We have no picture of him. 
He visited his home several times during the year 1862. You 
did not mention Captain Whaley^ as one of the officers under 
him. 

My brother. Major James William Porter, was bom in 
1827. He attended his home schools and was a member of the 



'Captain Marlon Wtialey'B company was enlisted after my connection wttb 
tbe regiment ceased. 



LETTERS FROM PORTER'S FAMILY 331 

Presbyterian Church. He married in 1853, Columbia Mar- 
shall, who died in DeWitt, Arkansas, within a year after the 
death of her sister, Mary Ann. He and his brother, Joseph, 
farmed together. He also visited his home several times in 
1862. We have no better picture of him than the one you 
have. 

Yes, we lived here during the war ; still living on the same 
farm, one-fourth mile east of Newark. My father, James 
Porter, was living three miles east of Newark. It was a 
sad and gloomy time in this vicinity. 

Colonel Frisby H. McCuUough left a wife and three 
children, two daughters and a son, the latter now living at 
Edina. 

Dr. John L. Taylor^ was well known in Newark and 
was killed here a year or two after the war by Tom Evermaji. 

We knew WiUis Baker, one of the ten who were shot by 
McNeil at Palmyra. It was true that he shot and killed 
Ezekial Pratt 

Colonel Porter's son, Joseph I. Porter, Stuttgart, Arkansas, 
writes, October 21, 1908 : I know but very little about the 
war and have been trying to forget what I do know. I hope 
never to read a history of it. 

Mr. J. M. Shipp, a nephew of CSlonel Porter, of Bowling 
Green, Missouri, but residing temporarily at Newport, 
Arkansas, writes: A. B. Glasscock, .of Vandalia, Audrain 
County, and William M. Glasscock, of Emden, Shelby 
County, are stepbrothers of Colonel Joseph C. Porter, and 
they both served with him from the beginning to the end of 



'Dr. Taylor was surgeon of Colonel Glover's regiment. While In camp 
at iTonton he wrote a letter which was published In the Missouri Demo- 
crat, denonndng the outrages of Colonel Porter In Northeast Missouri and 
suggesting the surest method of stopping them was the confiscation of the 
property of the colonel, hla father, his brother and his relatives, Colonel 
Bradshaw, Merritt Shipp and William Kendrlcb, all being holders of con- 
siderable property. Dr. Taylor was a man of many good traits. He was a 
TTnlon man from patriotic and disinterested motives and always had the 
courage of his convictions. But, unfortunately, he possessed an overbearing 
temper and a quarrelsome disposition. It is said that he killed two men 
before the war, and that he was about to kill Byerman, but the latter was 
too quick for him. 



332 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

the war. Both married my sisters. J. Russell Myers, 
brother-in-law of Colonel Joe and Major Jim Porter, and 
his wife are living at Newark, Knox County. 

Mrs. Andrew B. Glasscock, of Vandalia, writes: My 
mother was seven years old when my grandfather, James 
Porter, came to Missouri, and she, I think, was next to Uncle 
Joe, who was the oldest of the family. Uncles Joe and Jim 
went to California in 1849 ; came back ; married sisters ; went 
in the stock business together and prospered imtil the war 
came. Uncle Joe had eight children, but only the two oldest 
are now living — a daughter and a son. Uncle Jim had four 
children ; only one — a successful physician of Memphis, Ten- 
nessee — is now living. After the war Uncle Jim returned 
home penniless. He and Uncle Joe's oldest son went to 
Arkansas and in the stock business prospered greatly. I 
send you Uncle Jim's picture. It was taken in the brush 
and you can see it is a very poor one. My husband was 
a member of Captain Kendrick's company of Uncle Joe's 
regiment and his brother, William, was a member of Uncle 
Jim's company and was quartermaster^ of the regiment in 
Northeast Missouri. I 

Colonel Porter some time after the capture of Palmyra 
started with twelve hundred men to the Missouri River, 
having made arrangements with a steamboat captain to cross. 
One hundred and ninpty crossed. He went back to hurry 
up the remainder, but before he could get to the river the 
Federals rushed in and beat him off. So he remained on 
this side until he got all his men through in squads, which 
were assigned to the most convenient conomands. When he 
got through he had only thirty-five men with him. It was 
his intention to go to Richmond and try to get his men 
assigned to him, but General Hindman, who was commanding 
the Trans-Mississippi Department, wanted him to take com- 



>After the death of Captain Marks at Florida, Inly 22. 



LETTERS FROM PORTER'S FAMILY 333 

mand of a brigade and go on the Hartville expedition, where 
he was mortally wounded. Uncle Jim went into Colonel 
Burbridge's regiment and was afterwards promoted to major. 

Mr. Glasscock remembers the names of only two survivors 
of Captain Jim Porter's company, his brother, William, and 
Samuel Smoot, Bethel, Shelby County. The Glasscocks are 
from Virginia. My grandfather Porter was married three 
times. 

Mrs. James W. Porter, who conducts her husband's busi- 
ness at DeWitt, Arkansas, writes: "He came to Arkansas 
in 1866. He and I were married in 1871. He died July 
15, 1898. After the death of Colonel Joseph C. Porter he 
was assigned to Colonel Burbridge's regiment as major and 
was afterwards promoted to lieutenant'Colonel. I should like 
to know more of his history in the army as my chapter of the 
Daughters of the Confederacy wish me to give them what 
they are pleased to call a 'Porter Day.' " 



CHAPTEE XXIX 
VIOLATION OF PAROLES 

I have no comment to make for the course of those members 
of the Missouri Militia captured by Confederates, who 
voluntarily gave their parole not to take up arms imtil ex- 
changed in order to secure release, and then violated the 
terms of such parole. Many, or all, may have conscientiously 
believed in the contentions of the rabid press that rebellion 
was a crime sufficient to void all contracts with its supporters ; 
that the Confederates in Missouri were only guerrillas or 
bushwhackers, without military or moral right to give a parole, 
and that faith was not to be kept with men whom the press 
and the departmental commanders said were only "to be 
exterminated." Such" was the temper of the times that many 
good men believed their paramount Sfitj was to subordinate 
everything to the pleasure of the Government, and the 
pleasure of the Government was too often interpreted to 
them by men whose highest conception of patriotism was per- 
sonal or party plunder. 

My knowledge of the conditions during the war period in 
Missouri was somewhat extensive and I have in the collec- 
tion of material for this narrative secured as many additional 
details as time and opportunity permitted. It is my firm 
belief that no Missouri Confederate ever violated his parole. 
A great many Southern men in Missouri violated the oath of 
allegiance which they were forced to take or took to escape 
imprisonment, confiscation of property and death. Whatever 
of crime or dishonor there was in such proceeding let it be 
recorded against them and against the cause they stood for. 
Not one of them believed it to be a crime ; a great many Union 



VIOLATION OF PAROLES 335 

men believed it to be no crime. The principle has always 
obtained in this country that a citizen can change his allegi- 
ance at will. 

At the December term, 1866, of the Supreme Court of the 
United States in the case Ex-parte Garland, a member 
of the Confederate Congress, Mr. Justice Field delivered the 
opinion on the constitutionality of the act of .Congress pre- 
scribing an oath fox attorneys before the Courts of the 
United States. A short extract of this opinion is given as 
pertinent to the status of oaths of allegiance. "The oath 
prescribed by the act is as follows," — the first, second, third 
and fourth clauses are omitted — "and fifth. That he will 
support and defend the Constitution of the United States 
against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and will bear true 
faith and allegiance to the same. This last clause is promis- 
sory only, and requires no consideration," and only the first 
four clauses are considered in the opinion. In this opinion 
and also in the opinion against the constitutionality of the 
Missouri Test Oath, in the case of Cummings vs. The State 
of Missouri, Justices Wayne, I^elson, Grier, Clifford and Field 
concurred. Chief Justice Chase, and Justices Swayne, 
Miller and Davis dissented. Subsequently the Chief 
Justice expressed his concurrence in the opinion of the 
majority ; and the decision was followed by the entire court, 
with the exception of Mr. Justice Bradley, in the case of 
Pierce vs. Carskadon, decided at the December term, 1872 — 
16 Wallace, 234. 

The "reign of terror," considered so necessary in Septem- 
ber, 1862, by General Curtis, commanding the Department 
of Missouri, to check the rebels, had been on for a year or 
more, and its agencies were the killing of citizens, the crowd- 
ing of men for little or no cause into filthy and already 
overcrowded prisons, where often a sentry's bullet was the 
reward of an attempt to get a breath of fresh air ; the com- 
pelling of prisoners to do hard or ignominious tasks ; the levy- 



336 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

ing of grievous burdens by assessments of money; the con- 
fiscation and destruction of property ; the burning of homee/ 
bams, crops and farm improvements ; the killing of prisoners 
on false pretexts, and all the while the rabid press of the 
State was calling for "greater severity." General Schofield 
was a good officer and not a cruel man, but the following 
despatches^ show how far he was influenced by the blood- 
thirsty press of the State : 

St. Louie, Mo., September 9, 1862. 
Brig. Oen. Levns Merrill, Warrenton, Mo. : 

I want to select a prominent case to test the question 
whether a bushwhacker can be shot in a proper manner. I 
want to know what I can rely on. 

J. M. SCHOFTELD, 

Brigadier General. 

Waeeeuton, Mc, September 9, 1862. 
Brigadier General Schofield: 

All right. I will run him up for you. 

Lewis Mekbtll, 
Brigadier General. 

St. Louis, Mo. September 9, 1862. 
Brig. Gen. Lewis Merrill: 

I think Poindexter had better be tried by military com- 
mission. I believe I can secure the execution of a sentence. 

J. M. Schofield, 
Brigadier General. 

Wabbenton, Mc, September 9, 1862. 
Brigadier General Schofield: 

I had intended to have him shot on Friday, but if you 
think the sentence will be executed he had better be tried. 

Lewis Mebsill, 
Brigadier General. 

■See appendix V. 

'War of the RebelUon, Series I, Volume 13, page 621. 



VIOLATION OF PAROLES 337 

Referring to the demands of the bloodthirsty element in. 
Missouri, General Schofield, in writing to President 
Lincoln, August 28, 1863, said: "I have permitted those 
who have been in rebellion, and who voluntarily surrender 
themselves and their arms, to take the oath of allegiance and 
give bonds for their future good conduct, and release them 
upon condition that they reside in such portion of the State 
as I shall direct For this I am most bitterly assailed by 
the radicals, who demand that every man who has been in 
rebellion or in any way aided shall be exterminated or driven 
from the State. There are thousands of such criminals, and 
no man can fail to see that such a course would light the 
flames of a war such as Missouri has never seen. Their 
leaders know, but it is necessary for their ascendency, and 
they scruple at nothing to accomplish that end." — War of 
the Eebellion, Series I, Vol. 22, part 2, page 483. 

A summary of General Fremont's Order 'No. 10 — War of 
the Eebellion, Series II, Vol, 1, page 282, is given: 

Headquartees, Western Department, 
Saint Louis, Mo., September 2, 1861, 

Before the military commission, which convened at the 
Saint Louis Arsenal on the 5th instant, pursuant to Special 
Order, No. 118, current series, from these headquarters, the 
following prisoners were arraigned, viz: 

Phineas P. Johnson, William Shiftell, Jerome Nail, John 
WiUiams, James R. Arnold, Charles Lewis, John Deane, 
Doctor Steinhoner, W. W. Lynch, T. J. Sappington, James 
Thompson, Thomas Grigsby, John Crow, David E. Perry- 
man, John W. Graves, Alfred Jones, William Dumham, C. 
H. Hodges, James Marr, G. S. Yertes. 

Many of the prisoners above named were found without 
any charge whatever lodged against them; others had but 
trivial charges, and being unable to procure witnesses in liheir 
respective cases the commission deemed it expedient to have 

(22) 



338 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

the same released, which was carried into effect after a rigid 
cross-examination and having the oath of allegiance duly 
administered in each individual case. 

The commission would respectfully report to the command- 
ing major-general that they have found imprisoned in the 
arsenal a great many persons charged with being spies and 
traitors. These charges were not sustained by any evidence 
whatever. The persons taking them prisoners did in most 
cases send no names of witnesses along. In others the 
names of witnesses were sent without their addresses and 
residences. Some were sent here prisoners because one 
Union man considered them dangerous. 
******* 

The commission would respectfully suggest that orders be 
issued preventing persons from being arrested unless there 
is some strong circumstantial proof of facts of which your 
commission can avail itself. It seemed to your commission, ' 
even, and it is with deep regret that they are compelled to 
report such things to you, that in a few cases men were 
arrested as spies and traitors and sent here because they 
raised objections when their property was taken while they 
were absent in prison without any cause whatever. 
******* 

The reflections contained in the report of the proceedings 
have occurred to the commanding general. He is surprised 
to find that in many of the cases no evidence whatever has 
been presented to the commission. He concurs in the opinion 
expressed relative to groundless charges against citizens, un- 
warrantable seizures of their persons and unjust depreda- 
tions upon their property. 

The attention of the commanders is again called to the full 
observance of the orders that have been issued from these 
headquarters concerning arrests. 

By order of Major-General Fremont: 

J. C. Kkltoit, 
Assistant Adjutant-General. 



VIOLATION OF PAROLES 339 

"As Mr. McAfee was a sympathizer with the Confederate 
cause and had been an active and prominent secessionist, he 
■was especially obnoxious to the Federals, who treated him 
severely — ^worse than any of their other prisoners. General 
Hxirlbut forced him to labor hard in the hot sun, engaged in 
digging 'sinks' or privies for the soldiers. A few days after- 
wards he was taken from Macon to Palmyra and the general 
ordered him to be tied on the top of the cab of the engine 
to prevent the bushwhackers from firing at the engineer. 
The latter said he would not run the engine if Mr. McAfee 
was mounted upon it in that way; the soldiers delayed 
executing their orders until the train was ready to start, 
and then signalled to the engineer to pull out, which he did." 
— History of Shelby County, page 719. 

John McAfee was then the speaker of the Missouri House 
of Eepresentatives. He was an educated and cultured gentle- 
man. 

Early in September, 1861, Major Joseph A. Eppstein, 
commandant of the poet of Boohville, arrested six prominent 
citizens, W. E. Burr, H. K Ells, J. W. Draffin, R. D. Perry, 
J. W. Harper and the Eev. H. M. Painter, pastor of the 
Presbyterian Church, and informed them that they as 
Southern sympathizers would be put on the breastworks 
in the attack about to be made by the Confederates. He 
granted their request to be allowed to communicate his pur- 
pose to the commander of the attacking party and in conse- 
quence the Confederates retired when they had sufficient force 
to make the capture easy. Mr. Painter was banished to the 
State of Massachusetts during the war and there he pub- 
lished a pamphlet giving horrible details of the cruelties he 
suffered in prison. It was printed in the office of the Boston 
Daily Courier and is entitled a "Brief Narrative of Incidents 
in the War in Missouri, and of the Personal Experience of 
One Who Has Suffered." I give a short extract, knowing 
it to be a sample of how they did things : "The writer once 



340 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

heard the following colloquy bet-ween an enrolling officer 
and a citizen whom the officer had never seen nor heard of 
before : 

"Officer. 'How shall I enroll you, sir V 

"Citizen. 'As a Union man; I am for the Union as it 
was, and the Constitution as it is.' 

"Officer. 'Damn such an answer. Such men are the 
damnedest rebels ! I enroll you disloyal I' 

"Citizen. 'I cannot help it then. Such are my senti- 
ments. I am a peaceable farmer, who loves my whole 
country.' 

"Officer. 'I cannot help that ; you are a rebel.' 

"That enrollment exposed the person to arrest and banish- 
ment, and his property to confiscation." 

General Merrill reported to General Schofield the old story 
of Porter "demoralized and broken up," after a skirmish in 
Macon County. N^ote mention of the execution of "twenty- 
six prisoners who had taken the oath and given bond." Had 
McNeil written the report he would have said, "violated 
their parole." 

Hannibal, Mo., August 9, 1862. 

Genebai,: McNeil's column overtook Porter again near 
Stockton yesterday afternoon and whipped him again. The 
fight ended at dark. During the storm Porter managed to 
slip away. 

Nothing definite of the loss on either side. Report says 
McNeil's loss eight wounded, one mortally ; Porter's loss fifty 
killed and wounded and some prisoners. Porter is de- 
moralized and, I think, broken up. 

McNeil found among his prisoners twenty-six who had 
taken the oath and given bonds. They were executed yes- 
terday. 

Inspected Palmyra yesterday; found everything going to 
the devil ; relieved Stearns and Pledge and sent them to Han- 
nibal. Steams was going off with a large amount of money 



VIOLATION OF PAROLES 341 

belonging to soldiers which he will not account for, and I 
have just put him in close confinement. Yesterday caught a 
man who tried to throw passenger train off the track. If it 
can be proved clearly on him will execute him formally to- 
morrow. Will leave at two o'clock for Macon City. Please 
send up my telegraph men. 

Lewis Meeeill, 
Brigadier General.^ 
General Schofield. 

The Quincy, Illinois, Herald, of August 11, 1862, tells, on 
the authority of an officer of the Hannibal and St. Joseph 
Railroad, of the shooting of twenty-six rebel prisoners at 
Macon City for "breaking their paroles." It learns that 
twelve paroled prisoners at the same place will probably suffer 
a similar fate. 

"After the battle at Kirksville, seventeen prisoners were 
condemned to death, and shot by order of Colonel McNeil, 
for violation of their parole ; they having been caught in arms 
after taking the oath of allegiance. Among the number was 
Lieutenant Colonel McCullough, second in command under 
Poindexter, who met his fate courageously, giving the order 
himself for the executioners to fire." — Switzler's History of 
Missouri, page 41.5. Note the claim that breaking the oath 
of allegiance is a violation of parole. McCullough had never 
before been arrested, had never taken the oath of allegiance 
and had never been connected with Poindexter, who, by the 
way, was a good soldier and a man of the highest character. 

"Thursday, the next day after the battle, quite a number 
of 'oath-breakers,' as they were called, were tried by a Fed- 
eral drumhead court-martial, convened by McNeil, in Kirka- 
ville, and fifteen of them were convicted of violation of their 
paroles, and sentenced to be shot. McNeil approved the 
proceedings and the order, and the poor fellows were executed 



'War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volnme 13, p. 224. 



342 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

the same day. Their names, as can best be learned now, 
were : William Bates, E. M. Galbreath, Lewis Eollins, Wil- 
liam Wilson, Colnmbufi Harris, Keuben Thomas or Thomp- 
son, Thomas Webb and Eeuben Green, of Monroe County; 
James Christian, David Wood, Jesse Wood and Bennett 
Hayden, of Shelby; William Bailee and Hamilton Braimon, 
of Marion, and John Kent, of Adair. It is reported that 
Thomas Stone, of Shelby, was shot at the same time. Of the 
Shelby Coimty victims all lived in the southwestern part 
of the county. James Christian, three miles east of 
Clarence, aged between thirty and forty; David and Jesse 
Wood were young men living west of Shelbina; Bennett 
Hayden lived near the present site of Lentner Station, aged 
thirty. All were married but David Wood, and all had been 
arrested and released on parole and bond." — History of 
Shelby County, page 757. 

Concerning these executions the observing reader will 
notice one unvarying incident The fight near Stockton took 
place "yesterday;" it ended at "dark." Twenty-six pris- 
oners had taken the oath; they were executed "yesterday." 
"And the poor fellows" — at Kirksville — "were executed the 
same day." What was the testimony? What could be the 
testimony in the few minutes between the capture and execu- 
tion ? Did McNeil carry with him in his forced marches a 
list of the unfortunates whom his provost-marshals made swear 
allegiance, and could he or his men truly identify them on 
the moment? The question carries its own answer. To 
ofFset the objection as to identification it is claimed that "some 
of the prisoners even bore upon their persons copies of their 
paroles or certificates of loyalty." The hypocrisy of this 
claim is apparent. However bad the Missouri Confederates 
may have been, there was not one idiot among them. The 
History of Lewis County, says, page 135 : "It seems almost 
incredible that any man would be so foolish as to carry about 
him such a paper, but it is explained that copies of paroles 



VIOLATION OF PAROLES 343 

and certificates of loyalty were used as passes and exempted 
the bearer from arrest and molestation so long as their terms 
were complied with." A little reflection will show the ab- 
surdity of this explanation. A man who had been compelled 
to take the oath would not have to produce a copy of the oath 
as a pass or as evidence of his right of exemption from further 
molestation, in the vicinity of his home where he was known, 
because the facts as to his compliance with the terms were 
patent. To present his copy, if he had one, where he was 
not known would be the height of folly. It would be conclu- 
sive proof that hia disloyalty was pronounced and prominent 
enough to merit the punishment of the military authorities 
of his own county, and it would make him an object of sus- 
picion and hate. The average standard of intelligence of 
the North Missourians in the Federal Militia was not very 
high, but Governor Gamble's order of enrollment did not 
include the Fulton Lunatic Asylum. But suppose it did, 
and the Confederate oath-breaker took advantage of the fact, 
would he keep the copy of the oath on his person after 
capture ? If so, his epitaph should have been written, "Died 
at the hand of the Fool-kiUer." 

No; no Missouri Confederate ever violated his parole and 
no Missouri oath-breaker was ever captured and killed with 
the copy of the oath on his person. 



CHAPTER XXX 
WAS THE CAUSE BAD? 

If it is proper to estimate the cause in the light of the char- 
acter of the men who upheld it, the good name of the South 
will be secure when, a century from now and long after the 
bitter words, inspired by hate or want of a knowledge of the 
truth,' are forgotten, the historian shall tell of the events of 
the Great Conflict. Without any intention of suggesting a 
comparison between the men who met in the struggle and 
the people who sent them, a few comments are given from 
which, while far from being comprehensive, may be inferred 
the governing idea of our people. 



"Today the centennial of the inauguration of George Wash- 
ington, the first President of the United States, will be cele- 
brated at the National Capital. The commemoration exer- 
cises will be held in the Hall of the Honse of Representatives, 
and will be attended by the President and his Cabinet, the 
delegate of the Pan-American Congress and other representa- 
tives of foreign Governments, and the Senators and Repre- 
sentatives of the United States. Today, the funeral of 
Jefferson Davis, the first and only President of the Confed- 
erate States of America, will take place in New Orleans. At 
Washington the character and achievements of the great Vir- 
ginian will be the inspiration of the eulogist and orator. At 
New Orleans the recollections of the virtues of the great Mis- 
sissippian, his devotion to principle, his valor in battle, his 
genius in statesmanship, his glory in martyrdom, will comfort 
his people in the hour of their sorrow. 

"To the reflecting mind these two contemporaneous events — 



WAS THE CAUSE BAD? 345 

the centennial of Washington's inauguration and the 
funeral of Jefferson Davis — are full of significant interest. 
When impartial history shall have made up its judgment, 
Washington and Davis will stand together, the most illus- 
trious Americans, the highest type of American manhood. 
It is right that they should occupy an equal station in the 
afPections of the American people. They represented the 
same great principles, they staked their lives and fortunes, 
and their sacred honor on the issue of the struggles in which 
they were engaged. They were the unyielding champions 
of the right of the people to govern themselves." — Charleston 
News and Courier, December 11, 1889. 



"Both men were unselfish in their devotion to their country. 
Both men were pure patriots. Davis believed his first allegi- 
ance was due to his State. Lincoln gave his first allegiance to 
the United States. He was so fortunately situated when the 
war came on that his allegiance to his State and the United 
States did not conflict. In the case of Mr. Davis he had to 
choose between Mississippi and the United States. There 
was no middle course for him. He had to go with his own 
people against the North or with the North against his own 
people. He went with his people. Robert E. Lee had to 
choose between the United States and Virginia. He went 
with Virginia. There was no middle way for an honor- 
able or patriotic man to go. * * * 

"JeflFerson Davis was a strong and masterful man, a bril- 
liant orator, a statesman, a scholar, a man of the highest and 
purest standards of honor and integrity, to whom principle, 
patriotism and duty were the loftiest words in the lexicon of 
life. He sustained the indignities and cruelty to which 
he was subjected with patience and fortitude, and after his 
release spent the remainder of his days in dignified retire- 
ment, receiving many visitors from the North and South, 



346 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

impressing all with his nobility of character, his dignity and 
kindly courtesy." — Baltimore Sun, June 3, 1908. 



"Jefferson Davis began life well. He had a clean boy- 
hood, with no tendency to vice or immorality. That was the 
universal testimony of neighbors, teachers, and fellow- 
students. He grew up a stranger to deceit and a lover of 
the truth. He formed no evil habits that he had to correct, 
and forged upon himself no chains that he had to break. Hia 
nature was as transparent as the light that shone about him ; 
his heart was as open as the soft skies that beat in benediction 
over his coimtry home; and his temper as sweet and cheery 
as the limpid stream that made music in its flow through 
the neighboring fields and forests. * * * 

"He was an ideal Senator, dignified, self-mastered, serious, 
dispassionate, always bent on the great things that concerned 
the welfare of the nation- He was never flippant — never 
toyed with trifles, and never trifled with the destiny of his 
people. His was the skill and strength to bend the mighty 
bow of Ulysses. 

"When Jefferson Davis entered the United States Senate, 
the glory of that upper chamber was at its height. Possibly 
never at one time had so many illustrious men sat in the 
highest council of the nation. There were giants in those 
days. There sat John C. Calhoim, of South Carolina; 
Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts ; Henry Clay, of Kentucky ; 
Thomas H. Benton, of Missouri ; Lewis Cass, of Michigan ; 
Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio; Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, 
and other men of lesser fame. In that company of giants 
Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, at once took rank among the 
greatest, 'eloquent among the most eloquent in debate' and 
worthy to be the premier at any council table of American 
statesmen. The historian, Prescott, pronounced him 'the 
most accomplished member of the body.' " — Bishop C. B. 
Galloway, in the Methodist Eeview. 



WAS THE CAUSE BAD? 347 

Mr. James Eidpath, a life-long political opponent, after 
having been for months domesticated with him, said : 

"Before I had been with Mr. Davis three days, every pre- 
conceived idea of him utterly and forever disappeared. No- 
body doubted Mr. Davis's intellectual capacity, but it was 
not his mental power that most impressed me. It was his 
goodness, first of all, and then his intellectual integrity. I 
never saw an old man whose face bore more emphatic 
evidences of a gentle, refined, and benignant character. He 
seemed to me the ideal embodiment of 'sweetness and light.' 
His conversation showed that he had 'charity for all and 
malice toward none.' I never heard him utter an unkind 
word of any man, and he spoke of nearly all of his more 
famous opponents. His manner could be described as 
gracious, so exquisitely refined, so courtly, yet heart-warm. 
The dignity of most of our public men often reminds one of 
the hod carrier's 'store-suit' — it is so evidently put on and 
ill-fitting. Mr. Davis's dignity was as natural and as 
charming as the perfume of a rose — the fitting expression of 
a serene, benign, and comely moral nature. However hand- 
some he may have been when excited in battle or debate — and 
at such times, I was told, he seemed an incarnation of the 
most poetic conception of a valiant knight — it surely was in 
his own home, with his family and friends around him, that 
he was seen at his best ; and that best was the highest point 
of grace and refinement that the Southern character has 
reached. 

"Lest any foreigner should read this article, let me say for 
his benefit that there are two Jefferson Davises in American 
history — one is a conspirator, a rebel, a traitor, and the 
'Fiend of Andersonville' — he is a myth evolved from the hell- 
amoke of cruel war — as purely imaginary a personage as 
Mephistopheles or the Hebrew Devil ; the other was a states- 
man with clean hands and pure heart, who served his people 
faithfully, from budding manhood to hoary age, without 



348 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

thought of self, with unbending integrity, and to the best of 
his great ability — ^he was a man of whom all his countrymen 
who knew him personally, without distinction of creed 
political, are proud, and proud that he was their countryman." 

"Bom in this environment, matured in these traditions, 
to ask Lee to raiae his hand against Virginia was like asking 
Montrose or the McCallum More to head a force designed for 
the subjection of the Highlands and the destruction of the 
clans. 

"Where such a stem election is forced upon a man as then 
confronted Lee, the single thing the fair-minded investigator 
has to take into account is the loyalty, the single-mindedness 
of the election. Was it devoid of selfishness — was it free 
from any baser and more sordid worldly motive — ambition, 
pride, jealousy, revenge or self-interest? To this question 
there can, in the case of Lee, be but one answer. When, 
after long and trying mental wrestling, he threw his fate with 
Virginia he knowingly sacrificed everything which man prizes 
most — ^his dearly beloved home, his means of support, his 
professional standing, his associates, a brilliant future assured 
to him. * * * 

"Next to his high sense of allegiance to Virginia was Lee's 
pride in his profession. He was a soldier ; as such, rank and 
the possibility of high command and great achievement were 
very dear to him. His choice put rank and command behind 
him. He quietly and silently made the greatest sacrifice a 
soldier can be asked to make. With war plainly impend- 
ing, the foremost place in the army of which he was an 
officer was now tendered him; his answer was to lay down 
the commission he already held. Virginia had been drawn 
into the struggle ; and, though he recognized no necessity for 
the state of affairs 'in my own person,' he wrote, *I had to 
meet the question whether I should take part against my 
native State ; I have not been able to make up my mind to 



WAS THE CAUSE BAD? 349 

raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.' 
"It may have been treason to take this position ; the man 
■who took it, uttering these words and sacrificing as he 
sacrificed, may have been technically a renegade to his flag — 
if you please, false to his allegiance — but he stands awaiting 
sentence at the bar of history in very respectable company. 
Associated with him are for instance, William of Orange, 
known as the Silent; John Hampden, the original Pater 
Patriae; Oliver Cromwell, the Protector of the English Com- 
monwealth; Sir Harry Vane, once a Governor of Massachu- 
setts, and George Washington, a Virginian of note. In the 
throng of other offenders I am also gratified to observe certain 
of those from whom I not unproudly claim descent. They 
were, one and all, in the sense referred to, false to their 
oaths — ^forsworn. As to Eobert E. Lee, individually, I can 
only repeat what I have already said — if in all respects 
similarly circumstanced, I hope I should have been filial and 
unselfish enough to have done as Lee did. Such utterance 
on my part may be 'traitorous,' but I here render that 
homage. * * * 

"Into Lee's subsequent military career there is no call 
here to enter. Suffice it for me, as one of those then opposed 
in arms to Lee, however subordinate the capacity, to admit 
at once that, as a leader, he conducted operations on the 
highest plane. Whether acting on the defensive upon the 
soil of his native State or leading his army into the enemy's 
country, he was humane, self-restrained and strictly observant 
of the most advanced rules of civilized warfare. He 
respected the non-combatant, nor did he ever permit the 
wanton destruction of private property. His famous 
Chambersburg order was a model which any invading gen- 
eral would do well to make his own, and I repeat now what 
I have heretofore had occasion to say : 'I doubt if a hostile 
force of any equal size ever advanced into an enemy's country 
or fell back from it in retreat, leaving behind less cause of 



350 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

hate and bitterness than did the army of Northern Virginia 
in that memorable campaign which culminated at Grettys- 
burg.' * * * 

"Lee had at that time supreme confidence in his men, and 
he had grounds for it. As he himself then wrote: 'There 
never were such men in an army before. They will go any- 
where and do anything, if properly led.' And, for myself, 
I do not think the estimate that he expressed was exaggerated ; 
speaking deliberately, having faced some portions of the 
army of Northern Virginia at the time and having since re- 
flected much on the occurrences of that momentous period, 
I do not believe that any more formidable or better organized 
and animated force was ever set in motion than that which 
Lee led across the Potomac in the early summer of 1863. It 
was essentially an army of fighters — ^men who individually or 
in the mass could be depended on for any feat of arms in the 
power of mere mortals to accomplish. They would blanch 
at no danger. This Lee from experience knew. He had 
tested them. * * * 

"Narrowly escaping destruction at Gettysburg, my next 
contention is that Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia 
never sustained defeat. Finally, it is true, succumbing to 
exhaustion, to the end they were not overthrown in fight. 
* * * How was the wholly unexpected outcome brought 
about? The simple answer is, the Confederacy collapsed 
from inanition. Suffering such occasional reverses and 
defeats as are incidental to all warfare, it was never crushed 
in battle or on the field until its strength was sapped away 
by want of food. It died of exhaustion — starving and 
gasping. * * * 

"Lee was at the head of Washington College from October, 
1865 to October, 1870 — a very insufficient time in which 
to accomplish any considerable work. A man of fast advanc- 
ing years, he also then had sufficient cause to feel a sense of 
lassitude. He showed no signs of it On the contrary. 



WAS THE CAUSE BAD? 351 

closely studied, those years, and Lee's bearing in them, were 
in certain respects the most remarkable as well as the most 
creditable of his life; they impressed unmistakably upon it 
the stamp of true greatness. His own means of subsistence 
having been swept away by war — the property of his wife as 
well as his own having been sequestered and confiscated in 
utter disregard not only of law but, I add it regretfully, of 
decency — a mere pittance, designated in courtesy 'salary,' 
under his prudent management was made to suffice for the 
needs of an establishment, the quiet dignity of which even 
exceeded its severe simplicity. Within five months after the 
downfall of the Confederacy, he addressed himself to his new 
vocation. Coming to it from crushing defeat, about him 
there was nothing suggestive of disappointment; and there- 
after through public trials and private misfortunes — :for it 
pleased Heaven to try him with afflictions — ^he bore himself 
with serene patience and a mingled firmness and sweetness 
of temper to which mere words fail to do justice." — Charles 
Francis Adams, at the Lee Centennial Celebration, Washing- 
ton and Lee University. 



"There is no need to dwell on Greneral Lee's record as a 
soldier. The son of Light Horse Harry Lee, of the Eevolu- 
tion, he came naturally by his aptitude for arms and com- 
mand. His campaigns put him in the foremost rank of 
the great captains of all time. But his signal valor and 
address in war are no more remarkable than the spirit in 
which he turned to the work of peace once the war was over. 
The circumstances were such that most men, even of high char- 
acter, felt bitter and vindictive or depressed and spiritless, 
but General Lee's heroic temper was not warped nor his great 
soul cast down." — President Roosevelt's letter to the Lee 
Centennial Celebration, New Willard Hotel, Washington. 



"The fierce light which beats upon the throne is as a rush- 



r>52 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

light in comparison -with the electric glare which our news- 
papers now focuB upon the public man in Lee's position. 
His character has been subjected to that ordeal, and who can 
point to a spot upon it ? His clear, sound judgment, personal 
courage, untiring activity, genius for war, absolute devotion 
to his State, mark him out as a public man, as a patriot to 
be forever remembered by all Americans. His amiability of 
disposition, deep sympathy with those in pain or sorrow, his 
love for children, nice sense of personal honor, and general 
courtesy, endeared him to all his friends. I shall never for- 
get his sweet smile, nor his clear, honest eyes that seemed 
to look into your heart while they searched your brain. I 
have met with many of the great men of my time, but Lee 
alone impressed me with the feeling that I was in the presence 
of a man who was cast in a grander mold and made of dif- 
ferent and finer metal than all other men. He is stamped 
upon my memory as being apart and superior to all others in 
every way, a man with whom none I ever knew and few of 
whom I have read are worthy to be classed. When all the 
angry feelings aroused by secession are buried with those that 
existed when the Declaration of Independence was written; 
when Americans can review the history of their last great 
war with calm impartiality, I believe all will admit that 
General Lee towered far above all men on either side in that 
war. I believe he will be regarded not only as the most 
prominent figure of the Confederacy but as the greatest 
American of the nineteenth century, whose statue is well 
worthy to stand on an equal pedestal with that of Washing- 
ton, and whose memory is equally worthy to be enshrined in 
the hearts of all his countrymen." — Lord Game1;t Wolseley, 
Commander-in-Chief of the British Army. 



"My own impression of the man, of course, has been 
obtained largely from what I've heard my father say of him. 
At Appomattox General Grant met him, not as an enemy but 



WAS THE CAUSE BAD? 353 

as a noble-hearted, high-minded man, -who has simply taken 
a different view on a very vital subject. That wiiming per- 
sonality, which had charmed the whole South, appealed 
strongly to my father. 

"General Lee was a beautiful, loving character; he was 
the best type of Christian gentleman. In his military char- 
acter he lived up to his motto: 'In planning, all dangers 
should be seen ; in action, none, unless very formidable.' He 
came of good stock. He was the son of 'Light Horse Harry,' 
and of a family that was richly endowed with the power to 
attract a following. Few men have been so human and at 
the same time held the confidence of military men." — Gen- 
eral Frederick Dent Grant, Lee Centennial. 



"Some may be surprised that I am here to eulogize Robert 
E. Lee. It is well known that I did not agree with him in 
his political views. Eobert'E. Lee is worthy of all praise. 
As a man he was peerless ; as a soldier he had no equal and 
no superior; as a humane and Christian soldier he towers 
high in the political horizon. 

"The name of Lee appeals at once and strongly to every 
true heart in this land, and throughout the world. Let 
political partizans, influenced by fanaticism and the hope of 
political plunder, find fault with and condemn us. They 
will be forgotten when the name of lee will be resplendent 
with immortal glory." — Reverdy Johnson, October, 1870. 



Senator Hoar, of Massachusetts, was as fair a man as an 
intense partizan could be. In the latter years of his life he 
had opportunities for learning that his judgment of the 
Southern people has been unjust and on many occasions gave 
expression to his changed sentiment concerning them. For 
instance the following quotation : 

"They have some qualities which I cannot claim in an 
equal degree for the people among whom I, myself, dwell. 

(23) 



354 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

They hare aa aptness for command which makes the 
Southern gentleman, wherever he goes, not a peer only but 
a prince. They have a love for home ; they have, the best of 
them, and the most of them, inherited from the great race 
from which they came the sense of duty and the instinct of 
honor, as no other people on the face of the earth. They 
have above all, and giving value to all, that supreme and 
superb constancy which, without regard to personal ambition, 
and without yielding to the temptation of wealth, without 
getting tired, and without getting diverted, can pursue a great 
object, in and out, year after year, and generation after gen- 
eration." 

Hoar on WalthaU: "If I were to select the man of all 
others with whom I have served in the Senate who seemed 
to me the most perfect example of the quality and character 
of the American Senator, I think it would be Edward C. 
Walthall, of Mississippi." 



"Throughout the long period of their domination the 
Southern leaders guarded the Treasury with rigid and in- 
creasing vigilance against every attempt at extravagance and 
every form of corruption." — Twenty Years in Congress, by 
James G-. Blaine. 



The Macon Telegraph recalls an incident related by the 
late Dr. J. L. M. Curry, a member of the Confederate Con- 
gress, and before the war a member of the United States 
Congress. Dr. Curry, while in Washington, in the fall of 
1865, called upon Elihu B. Washburne, then and for twelve 
years a member of Congress from Illinois, and afterwards 
Minister to France, and was cordially received. Said Dr. 
Curry: "Holding my hand, he said with warmth, 'I wish 
you fellows were back here again.' I responded, 'After the 
last four years' experience f 'Yes,' he said, 'you gave us a 
great deal of trouble; but the fact is you wouldn't steal.' " 



WAS THE CAUSE BAD? 355 

"The statue of Eobert E. Lee, for which the State of Vir- 
ginia will ask a place in the Memorial Hall of the Capitol at 
Washington, has been completed. In the near future Con- 
gress will be asked to accept the gift, and the strong hope 
and belief is that no individual or organization in the whole 
length or breadth of the North will so much as murmur 
against the intention to honor the memory of the great Con- 
federate soldier. 

"If it had been said in the days immediately following the 
Civil War that in time a memorial to Lee would have a place 
of honor in the nation's Capitol, there would have been few 
to admit that such a thing was possible. Time has brought 
its changes. Robert E. Lee is honored in the North only 
to a degree less than he has been honored in the South. He 
was an American who fought as he thought, and he was one 
of the greatest soldiers who ever went into battle." — From 
the Chicago Post. 



"The day is not far distant when the statue of Lee, the 
most beloved of all Southern men, who stands in history 
today abreast with the few great soldiers of the nineteenth 
century, will grace the streets of our national capital along 
with that of Grant as a tribute of the nation to the greatness 
of ^jtnerican commanders, and I hope at an early date to see 
Virginia and Pennsylvania unite in placing on Seminary 
Hill at Gettysburg an equestrian statue of Lee, with the 
right conceded to the South to embellish that memorable field 
with statues of her heroic leaders." — ^From Colonel A. K. 
McClure's address at the Unveiling of the Monument to 
General Humphreys and the Pennsylvania troops, Fredericks- 
burg National Cemetery, November 11, 1908. 

"Carlyle said that long after Napoleon had been forgotten 
as a great general he would be remembered as a great law- 
giver; and long after Lee is forgotten as the leader of a 



356 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

valiant army, he will be remembered as one to whom posterity 
may point and say, 'This was a man.' " — Washington Post, 
January 19, 1909. 



"Our miserable little handful was as good as captured at 
any time after the Confederate advance had reached the brow 
of the hill, and here is a marked refutation of the oftrrepeated 
'needless Eebel cruelty.' We were engaged in an open fight, 
and they could have wiped us off the face of the earth at any 
time after getting over the hill, for they were upon us. I 
was repeatedly ordered to halt after getting three or four 
hundred feet start, and could easily have been ehot down 
before I reached the river ; but I didn't have time to halt or 
obey orders. According to all the rules of war, they were 
perfectly justified in killing me when I failed to stop. 

"This magnanimous trait is particularly conspicuous in 
the Southern soldier. He will fight day and night against 
superior odds, but, on the other hand, when the advantage is 
greatly in his favor he views the situation in altt^ther a 
different light. The spirit of magnanimity overcomes 
him. * * * 

"That day a sergeant of the guard visited me. He con- 
veyed the glad but weather-beaten tidings of exchange, not in 
the old stereotyped form, but with variations. This time' it 
was 'tomorrow.' Blessing on him if alive ; and if dead, may 
the earth lay lightly ujKxn him! 

"Just a word more about the cheerful and encouraging 
exchange Eebel falsifier. I cannot think of him other than 
a pure philanthropist and humanitarian. We had no medi- 
cine, and he had none to give us. We were his enemies, in- 
vading his country. There was war, 'grim-visaged war,' be- 
tween us, and he could have done a thousand times worse than 
to say : Tou will be exchanged tomorrow.' 

"Touching my treatment on the whole, I cannot recall a 
solitary instance during the foiirteen months while I was a 



WAS THE CAUSE BAD? 357 

prisoner of being insulted, brow-beaten, robbed, or mal- 
treated in any manner by a Confederate officer or soldier. 

"We were guarded by the Twenty-fifth Alabama Infantry, 
veteran troops, who knew how to treat prisoners. And I 
said then and have ever since said in speaking of our guards — 
the Twenty-fifth Alabama Infantry — that I never met the 
same number of men together who came much nearer to my 
standard of what I call gentlemen. They were respectful, 
humane, and soldierly."— A True Story of Andersonville 
Prison, by James M. Page, Lieutenant Co. A., Sixth Michi- 
gan Infantry. 



And those old aristocrats had their virtues. One loves to 
hear the names still applied at Richmond, Montgomery, 
Macon and Charleston to the men of the old type, by other 
men of the old type. How often have I heard the terms a 
'high man,' an 'incorruptible man.' Beautiful names ! For 
there was a personal honor, a personal devotion to public 
duties among many of these ante-bellum slave-owners that 
made them indeed *high men.' " — Eay Stannard Baker in 
American Magazine. 



In viewing the magnificent spectacle of the Davis Monu- 
ment (Richmond, June 3, 1907) the thought came into my 
mind : "Can it be possible that these splendid specimens of 
manhood who endured for four years unparalleled hardships 
and peril, who for ten years fought the harder battle of the 
Reconstruction, who for forty years, while paying vast 
tribute to a victorious people, have been patiently effacing 
the desolation of war, building up homes and sanctifying 
them to love, to liberty and to duty, and who now, in the 
matured and charitable judgment of the evening of their lives, 
return to the central point of the great conflict to ratify the 
act of their enthusiastic youth, made their dedication to an 
unworthy cause and vicious purpose ?" I recalled that Judge 



358 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Brewer, of the Supreme Court of the United States, whose 
favorite brother was killed fighting for the North, declared 
at the Lee Centennial Celebration of my Camp^ that, while 
Lee was the greatest general the English-speaking people had 
produced, Lee, the man, was greater than Lee, the general 
Was the crowning life work of Lee and the other great 
leaders, whose purity of character and loyalty to purpose are 
being recognized everywhere, given to what was bad ? 

And there was that great army of men whose individual 
services made no note in history ; but whose lives were stain- 
less, whose ideals were high, and with whom patriotism was 
the supreme passion. The record of one of these heroes 
seemed to me of peculiar import. The Rev. Matthew 
O'Keefe, a Catholic priest, who died last year at a very 
advanced age, came to tiiis country after the illusions of youth 
had passed away. He had no inherited love for the South- 
land. He had no bias of feeling to direct his judgment. If 
he had any sentiment on slavery, it was probably one of op- 
position. He was a large man physically and mentally. He 
was possessed of a very considerable fortune, which was spent 
in church extension and the alleviation of human suffering, 
reserving to himself less than what comes to the humblest 
street beggar. He took a charge in Norfolk. In 1855, when 
that city was scourged by yellow fever and everything was 
demoralization and chaos, he was sleepless, tireless — nurse, 
priest, undertaker. Denied by his bishop, the saintly 
McGill, the privilege of taking up arms in defense of the 
land of his adoption, he became brigade chaplain under the 
fighting Mahone. On a hundred battlefields he fired the 
enthusiasm of the living, and gave the consolation of religion 
to the dying, soldier. He was a daily visitor to the dungeon 
of Mr. Davis, whose trusted adviser he had been during the 
four eventful years. In 1869 he received from Emperor 



»No. 171, WaEthington, D. C. 



WAS THE CAUSE BAD? 359 

Napoleon the red ribbon of tbe Legion of Honor for his atr 
tentions to a yellow fever stricken French man-of-war in 
Hampton Roads. Many years ago he was given his last 
charge, a coimtry parish near Baltimore, which he main- 
tained with the same devotion and self-abnegation that char^ 
acterized his whole life. He died penniless, and his last 
illness was contracted in administering the sacred rites to the 
dying. In the most solemn manner ever vouchsafed to man, 
his mind iindimmed by age, unclouded by disease, with full 
knowledge that in a few minutes his spirit would stand in 
judgment before its God, he sealed his faith in our cause by 
directing that his coffin should be draped in three Confed- 
erate flags. Judged by his every known act, it must be said 
of him, that to God, to country, to fellow-men, he gave all ; 
to self, nothing. — Contributed by me to the Confederate Vet- 
eran, Nashville, September, 1907. 

Was hate the mainspring of his thought? Was his life 
purpose bad ? 



Shortly after the introduction of a bill in Congress to pen- 
sion Confederate soldiers, I wrote on Christmas Day, 1907, 
the following, which, published in the Baltimore Sun, 
brought many expressions of approval : 

The George M. Emack Camp,^ Confederate Veterans, is 
opposed to the idea of Federal pensions for Confederate 
soldiers. Confederate soldiers enlisted, not for bounties or 
pay but for a cause. Of the more than a thousand battles 
they fought, nearly always against superior numbers, they 
gained many more lihan they lost. They captured more pris- 
oners than did their adversaries ; they fed, clothed and cared 
for their prisoners better than they fed, clothed and cared for 
themselves; they obeyed the laws of civilized warfare with 
more fidelity and more humanity than did any previous 



'No. 1471, HyattBvllle, Md., of whlcb I am treasurer and hlBtorlan. 



360 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

armies recorded by history. When the end came they were 
penniless. With the same indomitable courage and fortitude 
they began the struggle against poverty and desolation and 
the unparalleled horrors of the Reconstruction. With the 
same loyalty to duty which prompted the supremest sacrifice 
they have been for forty years paying vast tribute to their 
victors, making green the waste places and helping to make 
the common flag respected the world over. These statements 
are very generally admitted, and we are willing to let it go 
at that. 



I conclude this chapter with a few words from a speech 
made in the House of Representatives of the American Con- 
gress, by Mr. Lincoln, when he was a member of that body. 
It is given in the Congressional Globe, Thirtieth Congress, 
First Session, page 155: 

Revolution : One of the mast sacred of rights — the right 
which he believed was yet to emancipate the world ; the right 
of a people, if they have a government they do not like, to 
rise up and shake it off. 



CHAPTER XXXI 
WOULD IT HAVE BEEN BETTER? 

The purpose to set up a new Government in the South and 
to establish the Confederate States of America, failed by the 
fortunes of war. The appeal to reason had failed. The 
appeal to liberty-loving mankind had failed. The resistance 
to the armies of the United States, impossible for a month 
without the full measure of courage and sacrifice, had, after 
four years of carnage and devastation, ceased because the 
limit of human endurance had been reached. 

Would it have been better had the issue of battle been dif- 
ferent and the Confederate States of America acquired inde- 
pendence ? At first thought this question will be answered 
almost unanimously in the negative. The abstract idea of 
Union is pleasing to the multitude. Applied to States it 
appeals to the noblest impulses of patriotism. A grand 
nation — two dangerous ideas are embraced in these words — 
appeals strongly to the unreflecting mind, and is not incom- 
patible with some element of patriotism. The first thought — 
too frequently final — is not unerring in its judgments. 
Viewed without enmity or bias, there must come a doubt as 
to the right answer. Had the end of the war left two repub- 
lics instead of one, two things would have been certain and 
in each the two republics would have been benefited — ^not 
equally, it is true, but still both. First, the South would 
have escaped the long dismal period of the Reconstruction, 
and the North would have been spared the memory of in- 
flicting it. Second, the Southern people would have pre- 
served in the old-time flavor and strength, unaffected by the 



362 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

modem commercialism, the beautiful personal traits of a high 
sense of private and public honor, of hospitality, of adherence 
to traditions, of intense love of home, acknovyledged even by 
enemies to be distinctive. Further, the two peoples vfould 
perhaps have been more friendly than now, or — ^to put it 
more correctly — ^the present condition of amity would have 
been reached at an earlier day, because neither side would 
have been the conqueror. The world-power idea, if it ever 
came, would have been delayed for generations. The per- 
petuation of peace might have been better guaranteed. 
Public and private' extravagance would not have been stimu- 
lated and the inequalities in the results of individual effort 
would not have been so marked. An issue — a great one — 
would have been a thousand times better settled. It is not 
necessary to say which section is the more responsible for 
the existence of slavery in this country. The unbiased 
student of history can easily find the truth. The pious and 
learned Bishop Galloway says, in the Methodist Eeview of 
October, 1908: "It is a matter of pride with us that no 
Southern colony or State ever had a vessel engaged in the 
slave trade. And several of the Southern States were the 
first to pass stringent laws against the importation of African 
slaves." The slave-holders were jealous of their rights and 
of their moral standing. They defended, at aU times, on 
all occasions, to the extent of their power under the law, their 
institution and their purpose, but always on higher ground 
than the consideration of property. They resented outside 
interference, and denied its sincerity and honesty. The great 
majority of them were opposed to slavery. Had the issue 
of the war been different slavery would have gradually dis- 
appeared through the uninfluenced action of the slave-holder.^ 
This disposition would have been infinitely better for the 

'Qeceral Lee manumitted his slaves before the emancipation proclamation; 
the slaves In General Grant's family were held until freed by the Constitu- 
tional Convention of Missouri, January 11, 1865. 



WOULD IT HAVE BEEN BETTER? 363 

slave. The relations, business and social, between the two 
races would have been incomparably better. 

Again, would it have been better ? "Who knows ? 

This question may be of some interest, but it has no prac- 
tical value. No Confederate ever asks it seriously. The 
fact is, the country is one, the Government is one. It is 
the first duty of every citizen to render his completest service 
to the one, and to give his best influence to keep the other in 
the path of justice. If the faults of the Government were, 
through the incompetency or dishonesty of its administra- 
tors, multiplied many times it would etiU be the best on earth. 

Conceding that going behind the result for any purpose 
but harmless speculation is wrong and unpatriotic, another 
question naturally comes into mind: Was it better that the 
war between the States was fought? The preponderance 
of sentiment would undoubtedly give a negative answer. 

General Sherman gave war a horrible name ; it was not a 
true name, but he tried to make it true. See his official 
reports; his "Memoirs," pp. 124-5; 185, Vol. 2, pp. 223, 
227-8, 287, 888; "First Days of the Keconstruction," by 
Carl Schurz ; see particularly "The Story of the Greaf March, 
From the Diary of a Staff Officer," by George Ward ISTichols, 
brevet major aid-de-camp to General Sherman, Harper Bros., 
1865, pp. 40, 81, 112, 113, 114, 115, 151, 166, 170, 207, 
222, 277, 289. General Sheridan tried to make it true. 
See "Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac," by the 
Northern historian, William Swinton, New York, 1866, p. 
560. Unlike the preceding chronicler Swinton condemns 
the acts mentioned and cites the denunciation of eminent 
European authority on the law of nations. General David 
Hunter, the most brutal character that ever held a commis- 
sion in any army, tried to make it true. See his official re- 
ports, histories of his war record, especially Munsey's Maga- 
zine, May, 1908, p. 179. General Thomas Ewing, brothor- 
in-law to General Sherman, tried to make it true when it 



364 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

issued order No. 11.* General John G. Poster tried to make 
it true.* Many of less note tried to make it true. 

Yet war — ^prolonged war — ^is horrible enough. Histoiy 
does not tell of a country that paid a greater price in war 
than did the South. Mourning in every home, desolation 
and ruin aU over the land, the penalty for the failure of four 
years of armed resistance and then thrice four years of op- 
pression and degradation in the effort to make true the words 
of the poet,' "For its people's hopes are dead." 

But the hopes of the people were not dead, the spirit of 
self-sacrifice was not discouraged, the devotion to duty was 
not diminished; indomitable courage was equal in victory, 
in defeat, in humiliation. 

If war were the only eatise of great suffering, or great loss 
in life and property, it might be regarded in no other light 
than as an ultimate resort, but it is only one of the instru- 
ments of a wise and merciful Providence. Without consid- 
ering the contingency of same results obtained by peaceful 
legislation, or any of the lesser questions involved, I believe 
it better that the war was fought. Among the many reasons 
for that belief may be mentioned these, any one of which to 
this and future generations is well worth all the blood and 
treasure sacrificed in that event of history : 

The record of the last eight years of the life of Robert E. 
Lee; the military record of the majority of me Confederate 
generals; the courage of the Confederate soldier;* the sacri- 



'See appendix W. 

'See appendix X. 

'Abram J. Ryan, the Poet Priest of the South; he was one of my prote»- 
aors at college. 

^A good mend who commanded a brigade under Grant, and who, by 
the way, was bom on a farm In Connecticut adjoining that of the father 
of General Lyon, whom our regiment killed at Wilson Creek, told me 
recently that the Confederate flag was flaunted In his face eighty-two times 
and that every time It caused a tremor and a quickening of the pulse, 
because he knew the men who stood beside It — American soTdiera, he called 
them — were willing to die for It. 

Henry Ward Beecher, who did so much to bring on the conflict, says: 
"Where shall we flnd such heroic self-denial, such upbearing under every 
physical discomfort, such patience in poverty, In distress, in absolute want, 
as we flnd in the Southern armyf • • • They flght well and bear up 
under trouble nobly, they suffer and never complain, they go in rags and 
never rebel, they are in earnest for their liberty, they believe in ft, and 
If they can, they mean to get it." — Acts of the Republican Party as seen 
by History, by C. Gardner, page 4S. 



WOULD IT HAVE BEEN BETTER? 365 

fices of the Southern people, and especially of the women of 
the South ; the patriotism of the Southern people after defeat ; 
the courage of an element in the Northern States, small in 
number, but great in intellect and character, which braved 
obloquy, imprisonment and death in defence of their senti- 
ment, as evidenced by a declaration made in Cincinnati by 
a man •who had carried the flag of his country on foreign 
battlefields and who, later, had adorned the American 
Senate, "Abraham Lincoln can take my life but he cannot 
take my liberty ;" the military record of the majority of the 
Federal generals; the courage of the Federal soldier; the 
classic oration of President Lincoln at Gettysburg; and 
finally it was the greatest war in the history of the world and, 
with a few regrettable exceptions, it was fought by both sides 
with more humanity than ever before shown in warfare, but 
more than all it made the people of the contending sections 
know each other, which they had never done before. 



CHAPTEE XXXII 
"WE DONE OUR BEST" 

In company with a delegation from George M. Emack 
Camp, No. 1471, United Confederate Veterans, I visited 
Hichmond during the Reunion of June, 1907. On account of 
the business affairs of the greater part of the delegation, it 
was decided to forego aU the functions except the unveiling 
of the Davis Monument, and then to spend a few hours in 
seeing the points of interest in that historic city. We ar- 
rived at noon Sunday, June 2nd, when we found that the 
arrangements hfcd been made by the committee for us to be 
quartered at the boarding house of Miss C. S. Leftwich, 
South Third street, every hotel being filled. I felt com- 
pensated for the deprivation of hotel conveniences by the 
assurance that my children and their cousin from St. Louis, 
who had never before been South, would have an opportunity 
of seeing something of the home life of the people of Rich- 
mond, the most hospitable city in the world; and I was not 
mistaken. After a home dinner, such as could be had only in 
this latitude, we went out to see what was best, to see in the 
time at our command. Richmond was decorated such as no 
other city on the American continent, or perhaps any other 
continent, had ever been decorated. Among other places we 
visited the Executive Mansion and from the brow of Shockhoe 
Hill I pointed out the site of Howard's Grove Hospital, where 
I had been stationed and where a footpath then ran down the 
hill, which I had used hundreds of times. A glance at the 
John Marshall House and we came to the Capitol. 

Around the statues there were a number of squads of 
veterans in old faded gray uniforms with the Southern Cross 



"WE DONE OUR BEST" 367 

of Honor and Camp badges, and a few squads of other vet- 
erans in old faded blue uniforms graced with the army button 
and the different corps badges, having as much fun as any- 
body and showing by their behavior that they thought they 
had as much right to be there as anybody— and so liey had. 
What added to the beauty of the picture were two or three 
squads of "half and half" and these were swapping experi- 
ences with as much real good nature as perhaps some of 
them did on the picket line during the respites from gim 
practice. I enjoyed these little bits of comedy and saw that 
my children were fully impressed with their meaning. We 
went into the Capitol and I told where President Davis stood 
when I first saw him and of the impression made by his 
gentle, dignified manner. In going out of thra grounds by 
the west entrance, I said : 
"Stop a minute." 

My daughter asked : "What is to be seen here, Papa ?" 
"Nothing; but forty-three years ago, next October, I saw 
a very memorable sight here and my recollection of it is just 
as vivid as if it occurred yesterday. The Texas brigade" — 
my children were born in Texas; the other three not now 
living were bom in Missouri — "the Texas brigade, three 
Texas and one Arkansas regiments — ^nearly five thousand men 
at first — saw a great deal of hard service and had more com- 
manders killed at its head than any other brigade on either 
side during the war. A,t the Wilderness, on the 6th of May, 
their number had been reduced to fifteen hundred. At a 
very critical point in this battle the brigade refused to go in 
unless General Lee, who had ridden forward as if to lead it, 
would go back out of danger. As one man, they cried out: 
'If you go back, general, we will go in,' and one impulsive 
soldier broke ranks, seized General Lee's bridle rein and 
turned his horse around. They did go in. They stayed in 
ten minutes; but in that ten minutes they broke the force 
of the Federal advance, saved the day and left eight hun- 



368 YIITB. PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

dred of their comrades on the field. In an engagement on 
the New Market road, just below the city on the north side 
of the James, on the 9th of October — every gun of whieh I 
heard — its commander, General John Gre^, was killed. As 
an especial privilege, granted to no other command, G^ieral 
liCe allowed the brigade to come out of the trenches and escort 
the remains to Hollywood. I am sure that in witnessing the 
funeral march I stood within two feet of where I now stand. 
It was very pathetic to see four distinct regiments led by 
full quotas of officers, with each a band of music, and num- 
bering in the a^regate scarcely more than six hundred men. 
They were ragged and dirty and long-haired, but every man 
was a soldier. 

"Six feet from me stood John B. Clark, then a member of 
the Confederate Congress, but who was my brigadier in the 
Missouri State Guard at the first of the war, and whose son 
John B. Clark, Jr., was my major. He viewed the procession 
with much interest, commented on it in fitting terms to a 
companion whom I did not know and said: *I received a 
letter last week from Captain Gaines, in Price's army. He 
tells me that of the six thousand Missourians who went from 
the State Guard into the Confederate army, January, 1862 — 
the very cream of the State, every man a Bayard — only about 
six hundred are left and not one missing. All dead !' The 
old man's voice choked and tears rolled down his cheeks. 
Perhaps he was drawing the long bow a little. He could do 
that sometimes. He was a lawyer, a very eloquent speaker 
and could influence a jury as few men could. I am sure, how- 
ever, he did not overestimate the character of the men who 
joined Price. When he was a brigadier under Price, he had 
a habit of saying, when anything especially hazardous was to 
be done: 'General, let my men do that; they are the boys 
for that work.' At Wilson's Greek the first intimation we 
had of the Federals being nearer than Springfield was a can- 
ron ball that came crashing into our camp. The long roll 



"WE DONE OUR BEST" 369 

■was beat and in a few minutes Generals Price, Parsons and 
Clark were mounted and giving orders. The -woods were 
blue with Federals. General Clark, pointing to what was, 
after the battle, christened 'Bloody Hill,' said : 'General, here 
will be the brunt of the battle. My men can take and hold 
that hill. Let me occupy it.' 'Very well, General,' said 
General Price, 'take that position.' " 

"Papa, did you hear General Clark say that?" asked 
Frank. 

"Yes, I was within ten feet of the two generals." 
"What did you think of things just then?" 
"Well, in the high tension common to such an occasion a 
thousand thoughts rush through your mind in a moment 
and you seem to see the situation presented by each one 
clearly and to be able to reason out, in minute detail, every 
point involved. The question of personal safety always comes 
up, and its mental and physical effect varies greatly, accord- 
ing to circumstances, from nothing to an uncontrollable force. 
With me the most effective agents to neutralize fear were 
hunger and fatigue, and I had just finished a twenty-four 
hours' round of guard duty. When I heard General Clark's 
request and saw the heavy force coming down with step so 
steady I realized that we were going into a death trap. I 
remember very well how anxiously I scanned the faces and 
the bearing of our little regiment of undrilled men and how 
much I was assured. I said to myself, these men can be 
depended upon. What strengthened this feeling was the 
appearance of a number of deserters from the line of un- 
armed men .who had been ordered to march two miles to the 
rear. These were eager to get into the fight and said they 
could soon get guns. I noticed one man with a stout hickory 
stick six feet long on which was fastened a bayonet. He 
boasted that if we came to close quarters he could teach the 
Yankees a trick or two. A man with his haversack filled 
with stones said thirty yards was his distance, and he would 

(24) 



370 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

guarantee to break more than one Yankee's nose. I had 
great confidence in our generals. General Parsons had been 
a captain, and General Price a colonel in the Mexican War, 
and both had distinguished themselves. When Governor 
Boggs called out the Militia, in 1838, to drive the Mormotis 
out of Missouri, he gave the command to General Clark. 
Under General Parsons was Colonel Kelly's Irish regiment 
from St. Louis, a splendid body of men. Every battlefield 
in the Old World made famous by Irish valor flashed before 
me. These and many other things, analyzed and digested in 
one-tenth the time it takes me to tell it, made my state of 
mind almost as unconcerned as when I went into my first 
battle at the end of a furious march of ten days with next to 
nothing to eat. I felt that come what might we should not 
fail to give a good account of ourselves. There is one thing I 
wish you to understand and remember. The men who win 
the applause of the country for their behavior in 
battle, who lead the forlorn hope, who rush to the 
cannon's mouth or who stand for hours under the wither- 
ing fire of musketry, are not the men of exceptional bravery 
or courage. They are everyday men ; men and boys you see 
around you — ^yourself included, I hope. And more, the man 
who never heard the roar of the cannon, the music of flying 
bullets, the trumpet call or the long roll, or saw the things 
that make a battle the most magnificent spectacle on earth, 
but who in his daily round of labor does his duty because 
it is his duty and does not show the white feather when that 
duty leads to danger or to certain death, without thinking 
or caring whether the world may or may not recognize his 
sacrifice — this man is the real hero, and he and his deeds are 
about us today and every day. Don't ever forget that. 
Don't ever forget to do your duty in everything, great or 
trifling — especially trifling, because nothing else may ever 
come to you — and do this duty regardless of consequences. 
I hope your life may be peaceful, but if otherwise, don't 



"WE DONE OUR BEST" 371 

shirk anything. If the honor of this country ever requires 
a call to arms, remember your father periled his life for his 
country and that he wishes you to do likewise. We made 
good General Clark's promise. We did take the hill and 
hold it, but at a fearful cost The loss in our regiment was 
the heaviest in the army. This was the bloodiest battle of 
the war.^ Tom Hudson, who stood at my left, had his right 
leg shot off ; Billy Wingfield, who stood at my right had his 
elbow shattered by a minie ball; a man named Shults, who 
stood behind me, I being in the front and he in the rear 
rank, got a bullet in his right groin and died. When 
Colonel Burbridge, severely wounded, fell from his horse, he 
was caught and carried off the field by Hack Stewart and 
Alton Mudd, my cousin. Ten minutes after they returned 
Hack Stewart got his death wotmd and Alton carried him 
off. Two minutes after Alton took his place in line he got 
an ugly wound and I carried him off. The ill luck stopped 
there, however, and out of my mess of eight men I was the 
only one to answer roll call next morning. When Bob Tan- 
ner, who tied with me for the honor of being the youngest 
boy in our company, got well from a wound received while 
standing three feet of me, his right leg was four inches 
shorter than his left. General Clark was shot in the leg, 
but he didn't mind that. 

"He stayed with us imtil the loss of blood made him faint. 
More than haK of our officers were killed and wounded. 
General Price, while about ten feet behind our company, 
had cut out by a minie ball a scar from a wound he receivea 
at the battle of Canada, Mexico, now New Mexico, fourteen 



J'. »"Well mleht the historian say: 'JNever before— considering the number 
liirBagea— had so bloody a battle been fought on Amertcan soil; seldom has 
iCBloodler one been fought on any modern field.' "—Evans s Confederate 
nW»ry History, Volume IX, page 62. 

« ."It had lasted about six hours, and considering the nnmber engaged, and 
the ftct that a large proportion of them were anned with nothing but shot- 
'^IM and hunting Wes, It was one of the bloodiest, as It was one of the 

lost memorable, conflicts of modern times."— Missouri, a Bone of Conten- 

mn, by Luelan Carr, page 832. 



372 ^ITR PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

years before.^ The afternoon of the next day, which -was 
Sunday, the camp shoAving horribly the effects of the Fed- 
eral cannonading — -wrecked wagons and tents and dead horses 
everywhere — General Clark was sitting in front of his tent, 
talking to Colonel Casper W. Bell, his aide-de-camp, and both 
of them, I think, had been taking a little mint, the general 
broke off abruptly from the subject of the conversation and 
slapping with great force the knee of his unhurt leg, said : 

" 'But didn't my men fight, though ! Didn't they fight 
like devils!' 

"I don't mean to say that General Clark ever drank to 
excess. He did not. He was a Kentucky aristocrat, resi- 
dent nearly his whole life in Missouri and he had the tradi- 
tional ideas of hospitality. Withal, for that day he was a 
very temperate man. Today he would have been practically 
an abstainer." 

We then went to St. James Episcopal Church and I pointed 
out where I sat May 14, 1864, and heard the rector, Dr. 
Peterkin, read the solemn office of the dead over the remains 
of Major General J. E. B. Stuart, where General Matt. W. 
Ransom and five other generals were pall-bearers. We saw 
many other objects of interest and finished our round by 
going to the river where I pointed to where the Belle Isle 
military prison camp had been, and the Tredegar Foundry, 
where so many munitions of war had been fashioned. 

That evening many of Miss Leftwich's guests whom I had 
not yet seen came in from the sightseeing, among them a 
patriarchal old gentleman from North Carolina. He was 
a man of intelligence and culture and his conversation and 
manner had that charm only to be found in the beet types 
of the South. I had a delightful half hour with him. The 
next day after the parade and the ceremonies of the unveiling 
of the monument to Jeff. Davis, the children visited the new 



'January 24, 1847. 



"WE DONE OUR BEST" 373 

Cathedral and the tomb oJE Davis in Hollywood, while I re- 
turned to Miss Leftwich's to rest and have everything in 
readiness by train time. Presently a yoimg looking veteran 
came out of the parlor and passed out of sight down the hall. 
His modest, almost bashful, face and his easy carriage en- 
gaged my curiosity and I asked my patriarchal acquaintance 
of yesterday if he knew him. 

"Yes, he was in my company nearly three years. He is 
a North Carolina sandhiller and lives within two miles of 
me." 

"What is a sandhiller?" 

"A sandhiller is a man who digs a living, or half a living, 
out of the poorest kind of a small farm." 

"How do they who dig only half a living out of the farm 
get the other half?" 

"Don't get it; they do without. John, there, digs out a 
good living." 

"From his look I should say he was a good soldier." 

"He was. His father was a very poor man and knew 
little except industry, honesty and truth. At the first call, 
he said, 'Boys, the country needs our services. Jim, you and 
me and Bill and Henry will go to town tomorrow and jine. 
John will do what he can on the farm and tend to mother and 
Sis.' John worked as he had never worked before. The sec- 
ond spring of the war, when he had just turned into his fif- 
teenth year, he said : "Mother, I am ashamed to stay at home 
when all the boys have gone off to the war. I think I can do 
as well as any of them. The corn is clean and won't need 
much more hoeing and you and Sis can make out.' So he 
came to Bichmond and joined my company, where were his 
father, his father's two brothers and his own three brothers. 
His experience was peculiarly sad. In his first battle, the 
bloody Seven Pines, the day after he enlisted, he saw his 
father killed. At Ellison's Mill he saw his oldest brother 
killed. At Frazier's Farm his brother. Bill, got a bullet in 



374 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

the neck. It was thought for a long time that he wovild die, 
but he finally got well ; that is, as well as he ever will be on 
earth. Since that time he has been an almost helpless 
paralytic. At Malvern Hill, Henry was shot through the 
heart and died with his head on John's knee. But John kept 
on. He waa wounded two or three times during the war, 
but never severely enough to make him leave his place in 
line. He never missed a roll-call ; he never missed a guard 
mount; he never missed a battle; he never missed a duty 
of any kind. When, for the first time after his enlistment^ 
there was a call for volunteers for a desperate undertaking 
John stepped forward and in his quiet, timid way, said : 'I'll 
go if you let me.' Everybody was surprised when the captain 
chose him over the other volunteers, but when the work was 
done and done well, without any strutting or playing to the 
grandstand, and John had returned to his place as quietly 
as he had left it, we knew the captain had made no mistake. 
John never failed to volunteer on such occasions, and he goi 
the detail oftener than anyone else; when he missed it he 
would generally say: 'Captain, I'd like to go, but I don't 
want to be ho^ish.' At Gettysburg he was in the line that 
went farther than any Corrfederate except Pickett's men in 
their great charge, and right there his two uncles laid down 
their lives. He stood in the bloody angle at the Wilderness. 
He was with the men who, with the old time enthusiasm, 
made the Last Charge at Appomattox. Oh, I could tell you 
many things about him, but you'd never get them out of him. 
He never boasts of his army career, or anything else, in fact 
He is a man of good sense, but of little education. He 
doesn't know grammar, but he knows the value of his word, 
he knows what belongs to him and what belongs td the other 
fellow, and he has never crossed the line a hair's breadth. 
When the surrender came every man in the company cried 
but John. I teU you, Comrade, I couldn't help it. Of 
course it was silly for grown men to boo-hoo like a lot of 



"WE DONE OUR BEST" 375 

-women or children. The kids, as we called the boys in their 
teens, threw themselves on the ground and cried as if their 
hearts would break. The old men appeared to be momen- 
tarily deprived of the power of speech, but their tears fell 
freely. As for me — I was thirty then — the sun seemed to 
quit shining. What I wanted then was an order for our 
company to charge the whole Yankee Army. My pulses 
quicken now at the thought of how that order would have been 
obeyed. Cardigan's ride at Balaklava would have been 
ridiculous in comparison. The revelation was so sudden 
and so astounding. Why, before that moment a doubt of 
the success of the Confederacy never entered our minds. 
Our faith in the righteousness of our cause and in Lee was 
sublime. Defeat never weakened it and victory never 
strengthened it because it always stood at the limit of human 
capacity. It seems strange now that this confidence should 
have taken hold of our people as it did, but I think this 
was what made our men the best soldiers in the world. 
Comrade, you've read history, I know, but you never read 
of an army that endured so much in the way of hunger and 
nakedness and then held out for four years against greatly 
superior numbers. You never read of women making such 
sacrifices to keep their husbands and sons and fathers and 
brothers in the field as ours did. You know after the second 
year the supply of food and clothing tightened up mightily. 
I've seen colonels and captains and majors who never went 
out of camp except to go in battle or on the march, and if a 
lady would come in they'd nm and hide unless they could 
grab up an army blanket to wrap around themselves. As for 
rations, if one of our soldiers had gotten a chance at a full 
meal, I don't think he would have eaten it for fear of bad 
luck. A full meal was contrary to precedent and our people 
were great sticklers for precedent. Well, as I was saying, 
John was the only man in the company who didn't cry. When 
the word came he was standing just in front of me, listening 



376 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

to a yam a soldier was telling. He had always been so un- 
responsive to outside influences that I was curious to know 
how he would take the news. The battle, the bivouac, the 
march, the guard beat, the burning sun, the rain, the snow, 
were all the same to him. When he realized the situation 
there was a scared lo(^ in his eyes; the dirty sallowness of 
his face gave way to a marble whiteness and for a moment he 
staggered. Then he was at himself and in his quiet, uncom- 
plaining way he said: 'I never thought I'd have as sad a 
birthday as this; I am seventeen years old today.' As soon 
as he got his parole he made a bee-line for home. He took 
his hoe and it seemed as if he swung it day and night. It 
looked to me like a hopeless fight against fate, but John came 
out on top. He said afterwards that the one hope of his 
life was to go to school after the war. In the army he had 
associated with educated men and had realized the advantage 
that books could give him. But there were no schools, no 
money for tuition, and a mother broken in health, a sister and 
a helpless brother to support. When he got far enough ahead 
he married. He has reared a large family and given every- 
one of them a good education. It has been no easy task 
for him, but nothing ever daunted John. He swings that 
hoe just as nervUy today as he did forty-six years ago. In 
the long, horrid nightmare of the Reconstruction, John did 
his duty to his people with the same unconcern for his own 
comfort or personal safety as he had done in Virginia, in 
Maryland and in Pennsylvania. He would dig in his patch 
all day and if need be he would consult and ride with the 
boys all night. I don't think he ever shirked a duty — 
private or public — in his life, and he has trained his boys 
to walk in the same path. John's not very talkative — at least 
not about himself — ^but everybody knows where he stands on 
' every subject, and everybody knows that he can be depended 
on to do what is right. He never sought social distinction, 
but it looks as if his children might, and his grandchildren, 



"WE DONE OUR BEST" 377 

if he ever has any, will surely attain the highest in the 
county. He is, however, a living refutation of the old slander 
that the poor whites of the South never had any real interest 
in the institutions, the principles and the traditions of the 
land that gave them birth. Of course, the white feather is 
liable to crop out anywhere, but my observation, and it has 
been somewhat extensive, is that the sandhiller is just as 
patriotic as the aristocrat. The trouble is that when a sand- 
hiller proves recreant to what our people have always con- 
ceived to be the highest duty, he is judged as a representa- 
tive of his class, and yards of rot and nonsense are spun out 
by the man who thinks he is writing history and who con- 
siders misrepresentation of the people of the South the acme 
of ethics. I have a great admiration for sandhillers. They 
are a wonderful people in their way. I knew but little about 
them before the war ; but during that period and afterwards 
by association with them I found out what was in them. At 
first, I wondered how it was that so many of these people 
with so little education, with so few opportunities, so circum- 
scribed, had some of the finest characteristics, such as gentle- 
ness, courage and a high sense of honor. It must be that 
these traits came to them from a high-class ancestry genera- 
tions back, and they are kept alive by an intense love of home. 
After all. Comrade, the love of home and the maintenance 
of its purity are the greatest safeguards of this or any other 
country." 

A little later I had an opportunity for a few minutes' con- 
versation with the sandhiUer. 

"How long have you been here. Comrade?" 

"Ten days." 

"I came at noon yesterday and I haven't seen you until 

now." 

"I've been pretty busy. This is the first time I've been 
to Eichmond since the war. I often thought I'd come next 
year, and then next year, but somehow I never got quite 



378 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

ready. I attended all the sessions of the Reunion. It got 
to be a little tiresome to me at times, but for the sake of my 
children I sat it out. I wanted them to see all and to hear 
all that was to be seen and heard. I didn't march in the 
procession today. I'd have liked to be with the North CarO' 
lina boys and help to make a good showing for my State, 
but I wanted to show it to my children. I told them to re- 
member it always to tell it to their children if they should 
live to have any, and to have their children to tell it to their 
children." 

"I- said the same to my children. The Maryland con- 
tingent, with which I marched, formed in front of Murphy's 
Hotel, went past the Jefferson and took position near the 
curb, where it could see almost the entire parade pass before 
the place assigned to us was reached. Immediately behind 
us were my son and daughter, my youngest two — all that 
survive out of five — and a cousin from St. Louis. I pointed 
out to them the remarkable features of the parade, which I 
think has never been equaled, and I doubt if it will ever be 
equaled. I am sure it cannot be if the occasion and the 
sentiment are considered." 

"Yes, it was a grand affair. How could it have been 
greater ? I wanted my children to get the full benefit of it. 
I sometimes feel real sad when I think that maybe the 
memory of what we did will pass out of the minds of those 
who come after us. The only thing I regret about the war 
is that I didn't go into it at the very first. I wanted to, but 
father said I was too young." 

"Don't you regret the way it ended ?" 

"No ; I couldn't help that I always thought that if I had 
be^ed a little harder my father, who was the kindest and 
best man in the world, would have let me go. I'd have been 
so much better satisfied if I had served the whole war 
through. I went in the second year. May 30, the day before 
the battle of Seven Pines. Father was killed there. I 



"WE DONE OUR BEST" 379 

showed my children the very spot where he fell. I took them 
to Ellison's Mill, where my oldest brother was killed; to 
Malvern Hill, where my youngest brother was killed. He 
wasn't quite seventeen ; he and I were great favorites with 
one another. He was a mighty good-tempered boy and 
everybody liked him. The captain told me that Henry was 
fully as good a soldier as Father and Jim and Bill. I am 
glad to know that he never shirked anything. It* seems to 
me that I couldn't have stood it if I heard that either of them 
ever let down even a little bit. I also went down to Frazier's 
Farm, where Bill was wounded so bad I thought he woul3 
die before they got him off the field. He didn't die, but 
he's been paralyzed ever since. He's just able to shuffle a 
few feet at a time." 

"Have you any other brothers?" 

"I never had but three brothers and one sister. The war 
nearly exterminated our family. My father had only two 
brothers and both of them were killed at Gettysburg." 

"North Carolina lost a great many soldiers." 

"More than twice as many as any other State, they say." 

"Missouri lost a great many good men, in comparison to 
the number she had in the field. It was hard, except at the 
very first, for Missourians to get into the Confederate army ; 
but a great many did get through, and counting the nearly 
five hundred battles and skirmishes fought in the State by 
the Missouri State Guard and men enlisted by authorized 
Confederate officers, but who did not get their names on 
the regular roll, the loss was heavy." 

"Well, nearly all the Southern States suffered a heavy loss 
of their best men ; men whose places couldn't be filled." 

"I know by my ovm observation and by what I have read 
that the North Carolina soldiers were among the very best." 

"Yes, they were said to be good soldiers. But the Confed- 
erate soldiers were generally good men. In the first place, 
there were no hirelings in the Confederate army. Then, 



380 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

every man knew what he was fighting for. Then again, 
every man had the greatest confidence in the generals. I tell 
you there were some great men among the Confederate gen- 
erals. In the army there were some bad men and some 
cowards, but the percentage of either was small." 

"Did you ever notice that there were men of all ages in 
the army? 

"Yes, the old white-haired man and by his side the boy 
whose face hadn't yet thought of sproutii^ beard. The 
South gave all she had : Men, money and everything, and lost 
Anyway, 

"WE DONE OUR BEST." 



APPENDIX 



382 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

A 
THE MISSOURI SENATORS 

At the first election of United States Senators David 
Barton, who had been speaker of the Territorial House of 
Eepresentatives and president of the convention to frame 
the State constitution, was unanimously chosen on the first 
ballot. He drew the short term of four years, at the end 
of which he was re-elected and served a full term. It re- 
quired several days' balloting to elect Thomas Hart Benton 
over Judge John B. C. Lucas, Henry EUiott, John K. Jones 
and Nathaniel Cook. Benton served five full terms. Suc- 
ceeding him are Henry S. Geyer, 1851-7; Trusten Polk, 
1857-63, expelled for disloyalty January 10, 1862; John 
Brooks Henderson, appointed by Hamilton R. Gamble, de 
facto governor, elected by the l^slature, 1863-9 ; Carl 
Schurz, 1869-75 ; Francis Marion Cockrell, 1875-1905 ; Wil- 
liam Warner; two incumbents holding sixty years and five 
incumbents holding twenty-eight years. In the other line 
are David Barton, 1821-31; Alexander Buckner, 1831-7, 
died May, 1833 ; Dr. Lewis Fields Linn, appointed by Gov- 
ernor Daniel Dunklin, elected by the legislature, 1834-49; 
died October 3, 1843 ; David R. Atdiison, appointed by Gov- 
ernor Thomas Reynolds, elected by the legislature, 1844-55 ; 
James Stephen Green, 1857-61 ; Waldo Porter Johnson, 
1861-7, expelled for disloyalty January 10, 1862; Robert 
Wilson, appointed by Governor Gamble; Benjamin Gratz 
Brown, 1863-7; Charles Daniel Drake, 1867-73, resigned to 
accept the appointment of Chief Justice of the Court of 
Claims, 1870 ; Daniel T. Jewett, appointed by Governor 
Joseph W. McClurg; Francis Preston Blair, Jr., 1871-3; 
Lewis Vital Bogy, 1873-9, died September 20, 1877; David 
H. Armstrong, appointed by Governor John Smith Phelps; 
James Shields, 1879; George Graham Vest, 1879-1903; Wil- 
liam Joel Stone. The list is a notable one. Barton, Benton, 
Linn, Green, Henderson, Brown, Blair and Vest were men 
of very great ability. Scarcely inferior to them were 
Buckner, Atchison, Drake and Schurz; of very respectable 
ability were Geyer, Polk, Johnson, Bogy and Shields. In 
ability and character the two incumbents are fully up to the 



APPENDIX 383 

average of the Senate in its best days. Of the ex-Senators, 
John B. Henderson and General Cockrell are the only sur- 
vivors. General Shields, who served six weeks of Senator 
Bogy's term, was Senator from Illinois, 1849-55, and from 
Minnesota, 1857-9, The village of Sainte Genevieve was 
at one time the home of one Senator and of four others who 
became Senators: Linn and Bogy of the above list. General 
Henry Dodge, of Wisconsin; his son, Augustus Caesar 
Dodge, and George W. Jones, of Iowa. Bogy and the 
younger Dodge were natives of Sainte Genevieve; Generals 
Dodge and Jones were natives of Vincennes, Indiana. The 
two Dodges and General Jones were members of the Senate 
at the same time. General Dodge was a member of the first 
constitutional convention of Missouri. He and Dr. Linn, a 
native of Louisville, Kentucky, were half brothers. The five 
were men of eminent ability and by their int^rity and 
patriotism, adorned the American Senate. General Jones 
survived the others. At the funeral of Jefferson Davis he 
went from Iowa and served as active pall-bearer, he and Mr. 
Davis having been classmates at Transylvania University, 
Lexington, Kentucky, and colleagues in the United States 
Senate. Another man of eminent ability lived in Sainte 
Genevieve at the same time. John Scott, who served ten 
years in Congress, four years as the last Territorial Delegate 
and six years as the first and only' Representative of the new 
State. He was bom in Hanover County, Virginia, and came 
to Sainte Genevieve at the age of twenty-three. After re- 
tiring from politics he was, for nearly forty years, a most 
successful lawyer. According to a Missouri paper, "all his 
life he carried under his vest on his left side a beautifully 
carved dirk and on the other side a pistol." He died at 
the beginning of the war. 



B 

INHUMAN WARFARE 

The following quotations from ofiicial reports and correspon- 
dence published by the United States Government illustrate 
the character of the warfare waged by some of the Missouri 



384 WITH PORTER IN NORTE MISSOURI 

State Militia in the Federal service, during the. year 1862, 
■which will apply equally as well to any other period of the 
war. 

General Orders "No. 2, issued by General Schofield, Wells- 
ville, January 1, 1862, War of the Rebellion, Series I, 
Volume 8, page 478, says : "The practice of plundering and 
i-obbing peaceable citizens and of wantonly destroying private 
property has become so prevalent in some portion of this com- 
mand as to require the most rigorous measures for its sup- 
pression." 

Same, January 2, writing to General Halleck, same, page 
503, says : "Upon my arrival at Warrenton I found a bat- 
talion of Eeserve Corps Cavalry, under command of Major 
Holland, the only cavalry at my disposal. These men had 
preceded me only a few days, but they had already murdered 
one of the few Union men in that vicinity and committed 
numerous depredations upon the properly of peaceful citi- 
zens. Since that time their conduct has been absolutely bar- 
barous." 

In writing from Montgomery City, January 3, 1862, to 
General Prentiss, at Palmyra, General Schofield, same, page 
482, says: "The only cavalry force now at my disposal is 
a battalion of Germans, utterly worthless for this kind of 
service. If I trust them out of my sight for a moment liiey 
will plunder and rob friends and foee alike. I have arrested 
two of the officers and have five of the men in irons. I have 
asked General Halleck to recall this battalion and send me 
civilized human beings in their stead." 

General Halleck, writing to General McClellan, January 
14, same, page 502, says: "Indeed, strong Union men in 
Southwestern Missouri (and among them Colonel Phelps, a 
Member of Congress), have begged me not to permit G«neral 
Sigel's command to return to that part of the country, as they 
robbed and plundered wherever they went, friends and ene- 
mies alike." 

General E. A. Paine, Februaiy 8, directs Colonel Kellogg, 
commanding. Cape Girardeau: "Hang one of the rebel 
cavalry for each Union man murdered, and after this two for 
each. Continue to scout, capture and kill." 

General Halleck, reading this order in the public press, 
issued General Orders No. 48, February 26, same, page 568, 



APPENDIX 385 

in -wMch is: "The major-general commanding takes the 
earliest opportunity to publish his disapproval of this order. 
It is contrary to the rules of civilized war, and if its spirit 
should be adopted the whole country would be covered with 
blood. Eetaliation has its limits, and the innocent should 
not be made to suffer for the acts of others over whom they 
have no control." He further directs that official correspon- 
dence should be kept out of the public press, as its publication 
is "in violation of the Army Regulations and repeated general 
orders." 

Lieutenant-Colonel D. E. Authony, commanding First 
Kansas Cavalry, reports, Morristown, Mo., January 4, 1862, 
War of the Eebellion, Series I, Volume 8, page 46 : "Day- 
ton having been used voluntarily by its inhabitants as a depot 
for recruiting and supplying rebels, and there being only one 
Union house in town, and all the Union men there desiring 
its destruction, it was burned, except the one belonging to the 
Union man. Although there were forty-six buildings in town, 
we found only two men to represent the whole population." 

Dayton is in the southeastern part of Cass County, which 
adjoins Kansas. The same officer reports, January 13 : 
"Captain Merriman, on the day of the attack on him, burned 
the town of Columbus [in the ' northern part of Johnson 
County], having learned that it was the rendezvous of Colonel 
Elliott, and the people of the town having decoyed him into 
the ambush. . . . Major Herrick also captured sixty 
head of horses, mules and cattle, and young stock belonging 
to men who fired upon Major Hough and those who were 
with Colonel Elliott, and brought them to camp." 

General Halleck, St. Louis, January 18, writes to General 
Lorenzo Thomas, Adjutant-General of the Army, Washing- 
ton, same, page 507 : "I inclose herewith a copy of a letter 
from Colonel Steele, commander at Sedalia, in relation to 
depredations committeed by Jennison's men in Western Mis- 
souri. Similar accounts are received of the conduct of the 
First Kansas Eegiment along the Missouri River in the 
coimties of Lafayette and Jackson. 

"These men do not belong to the department, and have no 
business to come within the State. I have directed General 
Pope to drive them out, or if they resist, to disarm them and 
to hold them prisoners. They are no better than a band of 

(25) 



386 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

robbers; they cross the line, rob, steal, plunder, and bum. 
whatever they can lay their hands upon. They disgrace the 
name and uniform of American soldiers and are driving good 
Union men into the ranks of the secession army. Their 
conduct within the last six months has caused a change of 
20,000 votes in this State. If the Government coim^tenances 
such acts by screening the perpetrators from justice and by 
rewarding with office their leaders and abettors it may resign 
all hopes of a pacification of Missouri. If Kansas troops 
are again permitted to come into this State to commit depre- 
dations, the State can be held only by the strong arm of mili- 
tary power. The bitter animosity created against these 
troops is naturally transferred to the Government which sup- 
ports them and in whose name they pretend to act." 

Colonel Steele's letter describes the burning of forty-two 
houses in the neighborhood of Rose Hill, the robbery of silver- 
ware, furs and other property, the driving off of stock, the 
murder of "Mr. Richards, a good Union man, without cause 
or provocation," etc. 

Secretary Stanton, February 6, 1862, writes to Hona. 
Thomas L. Price and James S. Rollins, Members of Congress 
from Missouri, same, page 546: "I have the honor to 
acknowledge the receipt last evening of your letter of that 
date respecting the outrages alleged to have been committed 
against Union men in Missouri by a force under Colonel 
Jennison. Your communication will be submitted to the 
President without delay, and I beg you to be assured that no 
effort on the part of the Government will be spared to protect 
the Union men and loyal citizens of Missouri from all illegal 
force and lawless violence, come from what quarter it may." 

The "disloyal" must look out for themselves. Well, some 
of them did. 

General McClellan, Commanding the Army, writes to Sec- 
retary Stanton, February 11, submitting "the following ex- 
tracts taken from the report of Major A. Baird, assistant in- 
spector-general, U. S. Army, on the inspection of the Kansas 
troops. 

"If the practice of seizing and confiscating the private 
property of rebels, which is now extensively carried on by 
the troops known as Lane's brigade, is to be continued, how 
may it be managed so as to prevent the troops being demoral- 



APPENDIX 387 

ized and the Govemment defrauded? This has become 
so fixed and general that I am convinced that orders arresting 
it would not be obeyed, and that the only way of putting a 
atop to it would be to remove the Kansas troops to some other 
field of action." — Same, page 552. 

From General Halleck's letter to General Hunter, Febru- 
ary 13, same, page 554: "This possibly was the original 
intention of Lane's expedition, but I protested to Washington 
against any of his jayhawkers coming into this department, 
and saying positively that I would arrest and disarm every 
one I could catch." 

A member of the Fifth Kansas writing from Houston, 
Mo., about the criticism of "S. W." in the Missoiiri Eepub- 
lican, concerning the hanging of Captain McOullough, and 
the burning of farm houses, says : "He certainly was hung, 
as he well deserved to be [being as stated elsewhere in the 
letter, 'a somewhat noted bushwhacker'] and S. W. is the 
only person who has censured it. There were from twenty 
to tibirty houses burned during our stay there, but they were 
houses belonging to persons composing these guerrilla 
bands." — ^Missouri Democrat, June 15, 1862. 

Cape Gieakdeatt, September 18, 186S. 
Geneeal Fisk, Commanding: 

A. J. Toungman reports outrageous excesses committed by 
a party of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, near Sikeston. Jack- 
son Whaley was murdered in his own house. Mr. Young- 
man's store was robbed. He was shot at and violence was 
otherwise offered. Citizens are in great fear of life and 
property. No officer was with them. I am convinced, gen- 
eral, that these men are a terror to the country. Many citi- 
zens are killed and robbed by them. 

J. B. Rogers, 
Colonel Commanding.^ 

On the same day Colonel Eogers despatched to General 
Fisk: 

The informant said Major Montgomery would protect 
them, but those hell-hounds threatened them with death if 
they told him. The major does all he can but no one helps 

>War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 22, page 542. 



388 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

him. Gillette will tell you how it goes. I have ordered 
Major Montgomery to arrest the robhers and murderers in 
hie own interest, as well as that of the citizens. These men 
straggle and plunder whenever they are out without him. I 
dread the report when they come in from the Osceola trip. 

On the same day he also wrote Major Montgomery : 

Is Sergeant Kelly at your post now? If so, arrest him 
and find what was die name of the soldier who tried to shoot 
Mr. Youngman at Sikeston on the 15th. Also find who 
killed Mr. Whaley just before and who robbed the store of 
Mr. Youngman. Arrest all whom you find implicated in 
those murders and robberies. The citizens report terrible 
outrages by your men over there. 

Part 2, Volume 34, Series I, of War of the Rebellion was 
published in 1891. The Washington correspondent of the 
St. Louis Globe-Democrat sent to his paper the following as 
illustrating the humor of some of the campaigns. It is fair 
to presume that the person most interested saw no humor in 
the proceedings: 

On the 4th of February, 1864, Colonel J. B. Rogers re- 
ported from Cape Girardeau that a detachment of his men 
had attacked the Bolin gang and killed seven and captured 
seven. 

"Bolin is on the way, tied," the colonel telegraphed to Gen- 
eral Clinton B. Fisk: "Shall I shoot him without trial or 
try him by drum-head court and muster him out?" The 
colonel added, apolc^tically : "The capture of Bolin was a 
mistake. N^o one knew the fiend until he was brought in 
and recognized by citizens." 

The next day the following telegraphic correspondence 
passed between Colonel Rogers and General Fi^: 

Genebal Fisk : I regret to be compelled to report that 
at a late hour last night a large crowd of soldiers and citizens 
took the prisoner, John F. Bolin, from the custody of the 
guard and hung him. All was done by most of the officers 
that could be done to prevent it, but without success. No 
force could be used owing to the fact that no symptom of 
their intention was manifested until too late, and nearly all 
the available force was engaged in the act. 

J. B. ROGEBS, 

Colonel Commanding. 



APPENDIX 



389 



Headqttaetees St. Louis Disteiot, 

St. Lotus, February 6th, 186k. 
Colonel J. B. Eogees: It will hardly be necessary to 
give Bolin a trial. 

OLIIirTON B. FiSK, 

Brigadier General. 



Cape Giuaedeau, Mo., February 6, I86I1.. 
Genebax FisK : While I think the hanging of Bolin, just, 
I still regret that it was done by violence, without trial, 
Tour telegram to me will be misunderstood as winking at 
it. I apprehend further violence. I will be obliged if you 
will give me a reprimand or a hint to allow no more violence, 
so I may the better be able to restrain my men. 

J. B. ROGEES, 

Colonel Commanding. 



Headquaetees St. Louis Disteict, 

St. Louis, February 6, 186^. 
Colonel J. B. Rogees: I much regret that you failed 
to restrain your men from the unlawful proceedings result- 
ing in the hanging of Bolin. Such acts of violence demor- 
alize both soldiers and citizens. Take prompt and decisive 
steps to restrain further violence toward the prisoners yet 
in custody. I would prefer that no such villians be taken 
prisoners, but after they have been captured and imprisoned 
within our lines, law and order and the well-being of the 
community imperatively demand that they receive a proper 
trial and be pimished for their crimes in the manner pre- 
scribed by law. 

Clinton B. Fisk, 

Brigadier General. 



For specific outrages see report of Major Dale, command- 
ing at Platte City, said to be done imder orders of General 
Blunt, War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 13, page 388 ; 



390 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

from citizens, page 389 ; from General Loan to General 
Schofield, same, page 392; from citizens to President Lin- 
coln, same, page 618 ; from Willard P. Hall toGeneral Cur- 
tis, same, pages 712-13-14:; from Captain Wm. MereditH, 
same, volume 34, part 2, page 150 ; General HaUeck to Gen- 
eral Price, same, Volume 8, page 529 ; see also General Loan 
to Greneral Schofield, same. Volume 13, page 387; General 
HaUeck to General Himter, same. Series II, Volume 1, page 
162; Greneral Halleek to General McClellan, same, Volume 
8, page 818. 

This list of quotations could be greatly extended. 



c 

THE ELECTION OF 1860 

In my native county of Lincoln there were three votes cast 
for Lincoln in 1860: By John Holcombrink, at Auburn; 
George Sands, at MiUwood, and Sylvester MiUsap, at Trux- 
ton. Mr. Sands died in 1862 at an advanced age, leaving a 
large family ; all of his children and grandchildren were in- 
tensely Southern in sentiment. Millsap was killed in 1863 
in a skirmish in the western part of the county. The company 
of militia, commanded by Captain William Colbert, of whidi 
Millsap was a member, was in pursuit of some "bush- 
whackers" and followed them into a dense thicket, where 
Millsap was diot in the center of the forehead. No one else 
was injured and the bushwhackers escaped. The next morn- 
ing, however, the militia captured a man named Davis, who 
lived near, and finding on him certain papers which were, 
to them, conclusive evidence of his connection with the bush- 
whackers, shot him. 

At Montgomery City two votes were cast for Lincoln. 
David Fleet and Horatio Bobbs walked t(^ther up to the 
polls and announced to the crowd of bystanders tiat they 
were about to vote for Abraham Lincoln, and if anyone had 
anything to say about it then was lie time to say it. 
Although they were jeered and hissed they were not otherwise 
molested. 



APPENDIX 391 

D 
SUPPRESSION OF THE STATE JOURNAL 

On the 12th of July Colonel Harding, by orders from 
General Lyon, suppressed the State Journal, a seoeesion daily 
paper in St. Louis, and caused its editor, J. W. Tucker, to be 
arraigned for treason. Colonel John McNeil, of the Home 
Gnards, personally performed this duty and closed the office. 
The paper was published by M. Medner, to whom the Jack- 
son Legislature had given the contract for the publication of 
"l^al notices." The suppression of the Journal was fol- 
lowed by the publication of the Missourian, The War Bulle- 
tin and the Extra Herald. These were all suppressed on 
the 14th of July. — ^Peckham's Life of Lyon. 



E 
GENERAL GREEN'S METHOD 

Illustrating his views on the treatment of citizens by the 
military authorities, the following letter of Colonel, after- 
wards General Martin E. Green, Colonel Porter's superior 
officer, is given. Lieutenant Joe K. Kickey, of Keokuk, 
afterwards of Callaway County and a rather famous poli- 
tician and lobbyist, was recruiting for the Federal army. He 
was captured July 27 and taken to Green, who kept him 
a few days and released him. Lieutenant-Colonel H. M. 
Woodyard, of the Northeast Missouri Home Guards, was 
concerned about Rickey and sent a letter through Judge 
Henderson Davis, to which Green replied : 

Camp McRetnolds, Av^ust 12, 1861. 
HisNDEBSON Davis: 

Dear Sie: I am in receipt of a note of Colonel Wood- 
yard addressed to you, which is the only reason why I ad- 
dress this to you. In that note Colonel Woodyard proposes 
to exchange prisoners, but on an entirely new theory. I have 
had several letters from Colonel Moore, and we have had 



392 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

several exchanges of prisoners. We exchange according to 
roster ; that is, according to rank. Such a thing as arresting 
citizens not under arms is a thing not permitted by me. 
My instructions to all my command are to let citizens alone. 
It would be little trouble for me to arrest citizens, but I hope 
I will never be guilty of such an act. I have publicly de- 
clared my intention not only to let citizens alone, but to 
protect them in all their righto, regardless of opinions. This 
I have scrupulously observed. 

As regards Joe Rickey, he is in Palmyra, with liberty to go 
where he pleases. The condition then that he (Woodyard) 
lays down for the release of the prisoners in his chai^ are 
fiUly complied with so far as I am concerned. Mr. Bickey 
went to Palmyra at his request, pnd I do not think I ought 
to be requested to return him. I can say this much — ^he is 
fully released as far as I am concerned. I do not know 
anything further that I ought to do. I think when he reflects 
on what I have done, he will come to the conclusion that I 
waa perfectly justifiable in all I have done. My actions I 
am willing shall be scrutinized upon the evidence of the pris- 
oners. 

Yours respectfully, 

Majbtin E. Geeen, 
Colonel Commanding Missouri State Ovards. 

The Home Guards were a Federal organization and the 
Missouri State Guards were practically a Confederate 
organization. 



F 

MY FIRST COMPANY 

"Another notable accession to the Governor's force at this 
time was John Q. Burbridge and ten other men from Pike 
County, who came into camp bringing with them from that 
remote county about one hundred and fifty muskets, whidi 
they had taken by guile from a company of State Militia, 
mostly loyal Germans, and had brought by force to the Gov- 
ernor." — Snead's Pight for Missouri, page 217. 



APPENDIX 393 

Colonel Bnrbridge took in a few more than ten men. 
When he waa at Millwood, Lincoln County, June 15, gather- 
ing volunteers under the call of the governor, a number of 
us enrolled our names. I can only recall William T. Ham- 
mond, who returned at Fayette, my cousin, George A. Mudd, 
wounded at Wilson's Creek, and myself. The next morning, 
Sunday, after early service at St. Alphonsus' Church, we 
stiarted in a farm wagon for Louisville, the next village, nine 
miles away, in the nothwestern comer of the county, where 
we were told a supply of arms would meet us. A number 
assembled to bid us good-bye and as the wagon was about to 
start Pat Murphy, a young orphan whom my uncle had 
taken from the asylum a few years before, rushed through 
the crowd and jumped into it. He proved to be a good 
soldier and was severely wounded at the bloody battle of 
Eranklin, Tennessee. A number enrolled at Louisville. 
The leading merchant, Luke Paxton, threw open his large 
store, told us to make it our headquarters and that if there 
was anything in his stock that we needed to help ourselves to 
it. In a short time the muskets came in from Louisiana, 
Pike County, guarded by William P. Carter and Frederick 
Ferdinand W^d, members of the old time military company, 
of which Colonel Buxbridge was one of the lieutenants and 
the drill master. Carter was afterwards promoted to be 
major and was killed at Franklin. He was a very capable 
officer. Weed was a handsome young fellow and the most 
accomplished braggart I ever met. We inexperienced boys 
thought braggart and coward were synonymous terms. If 
so, Weed was an exception. He was as brave as he was 
vain, and made good all his boasts. He would amuse the 
boys very much by the display of a derringer with a barrel 
not three inches long, "^^at are you going to do with the 
gun, Weed?" "Kill Yankees." 

I have forgotten the particulars of the process by which 
the muskets were abstracted from the armory of the military 
company — ^taken by guile, Colonel Snead says — ^but the word 
that best expresses it is — theft. We felt no scruples on that 
point, however. There were few, if any Germans in Louisi- 
ana at that date, and it is doubtful if one was a member of 
the company. Be that as it may have been, Burbridge, Car- 
ter and Weed were about the only members who were not 



394 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

"loyal," and the other members were deeply chagrined at the 
loss of the guns. 

Before we left Louisville the next day the well mounted 
companies of Captains Archie Bankhead and Edward B. 
Hull, from either side of the line of Lincoln and Pike Coun- 
ties, in the neighborhood of Prairieville, came in. With 
them was Wes Penny, a member of Bankhead's company, 
afterwards our captain, under Porter. I made his acquaint^ 
ance that day and it was the beginning of a friendship that 
ended with his death. Hull and Bankhead had married 
sisters, intellectual and educated women, daughters of Cham- 
bers, the editor of the Missouri Kepublican, who, seventy- 
five years ago, stood in the front rank of great newspaper 
writers. 

We started with about five hundred men, mostly on foot 
Our march through Callaway was an ovation. Everywhere 
on the roadside there were swarms of pretty girls, dressed 
in white, distributing bushels of gingerbread and gallons ot 
fresh, rich butter-milk. This county, almost from its forma- 
tion, has been known as the Kingdom of Callaway. It was 
a queendom that day. 

About three miles from Fayette, Howard County, we came 
up with a strong company from Fulton, commanded by Cap- 
tain D. H. Mclntyre, afterwards attorney-general of the State. 
It was dad in gray uniforms and armed with Enfield rifles. 
It was drawn up in line, awaiting an expected attack from 
a Federal force in Fayette. In an hour scouts came in with 
the information that the enemy had gone in a different direc- 
tion. We had now more than a thousand men, mostly nn- 
armed. After a consultation, it was deemed best that all 
or nearly all the unarmed men should return home and wait 
for a more favorable opportimity. About three hundred 
were prevailed upon to return. We crossed the Missouri 
River at Glasgow and went westward to Fairview, Saline 
County, where we stayed two days. Colonel Burbridge came 
to our squad and said "that he had decided to take a single 
wagon loaded with the muskets and about fifty shotguns and 
rifles and make a forced march with about twelve men, and 
he had selected us as part of the twelve. The other eight 
hundred would return home and join the army when Gen- 
eral Price should retrace his steps to Jefferson City, which, 



APPENDIX 395 

all felt certain, would be done in a few weeks." It was 
mipoesible to reduce the number below seventeen or eighteen. 
Besides those already mentioned I remember from the Louis- 
riUe neighborhood in Lincohi County, David Haekley 
Stewart, mortally wounded at Wilson Creek, and John 
Davis; from Montgomery County, Morgan Show; from St. 
Louis County, William G. Sterling, severely wounded at 
Wilson's Creek; from Hannibal, D. H. Shields and 
Thomas Lally; from an unremembered locality a cross-eyed 
tailor, who surprised us by making a good record on the 
march and in battle ; from some part of Pike County, a boy 
in his teens, six feet four inches high, vreighing two hundred 
and fifty pounds, whose name was known only to himself 
and the orderly sergeant. Everybody else knew him as 
"Babe ;" he was severely wounded at Wilson's Creek. After 
reaching the army our company was organized with twenty- 
five other men from the southern part of Lincoln County. 
It is very probable that Dr. Shields and myself are the only 
survivors of this company. 



G 
HORSE STEALING 

The severest penalties of the law were inflicted at every 
opportunity upon the Confederate soldier who impressed a 
horse for military service. The following from the local 
columns of the Missouri Democrat of August 16, 1862, 
describes the "punishment" of three Union men who were 
charged with stealing a horse from a Southern sympathizer. 
"Some days ago we published the arrest of J. M. McQuerry, 
C. A. Connor and W. T. Connor, charged with having stolen 
a horse from James Green, of Johnson County. The cases 
yesterday came up for examination before the Recorder, who 
ordered the defendants to be delivered over to the military 
authorities for trial. We presume that some peculiarity in 
the affair had caused a requisition for such delivery. The 
examination came off yesterday afternoon, before Major Mc- 
Connell, Assistant Provost Marshal General of the District. 



396 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

It appeared that the defendants had sold a horse for $90 to 
Mr. John Fenn. Green swore that the horse was his and 
stolen from him. Defendants denied his testimony, and in- 
sisted that Green acted through malice as a rehel, they heing 
Union men; also, that, having taken the oath of allegiance, 
and heing still a rehel, his oath and testimony could not 
longer be respected as valid. In his interrogatories of 
Green, Major ifcConnell led him to confess anti-Union senti- 
ments. The defendants were released, the money restored to 
them, and Green was committed to the Gratiot street prison 
for allied and avowed disloyalty." Note the expression, 
"Some peculiarity in the affair." In those days there was 
nothing "peculiar" about a Southern sympathizer being 
landed in prison for attempting to recover his property. 



H 
TWO LINCOLN COUNTY UNION MEN 

Captain Richard Wommack, of Company G, Third Cav- 
alry, Missouri State Militia, resigned April 24, 1862. 
However disappointed were his friends that he chose the 
Union side, none ever questioned his sincerity or his unselfish 
patriotism. Of all the public men in Lincoln County he 
was the most popular. He was a just and honorable man 
and to the day of his death was respected and esteemed by 
all good men. He was one of my best friends. 

John Brooks Henderson, like Captain Wommack, was a 
native of Virginia. He was bom November 16, 1826, and 
came to Lincoln County, Missouri, in 1832, where both of 
his parents died before he was ten years old. He represented 
Pike County in the Legislature in 1848 and again in 1856. 
He shaped the railroad and banking laws of 1857; was a 
presidential elector in 1856 and 1860. He was the author 
of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the 
United States, and was among the original agitators of the 
suffrage provision embodied in the Fifteenth Amendment. 
He was one of the seven Republican Senators who voted for 
acquittal in the impeachment of President Johnson. In thus 



APPENDIX 397 

voting he terminated his political career, rather than violate 
his conviction of right. His honesty has never been 
questioned. 



I 
A MUSTER ROLL 

Comrade W. C. Harrison, of Fulton, Callaway County, 
kindly loaned me three muster rolls of his company printed 
and written on the brown paper used by the Confederate 
Government. The figures after each name indicate the age 
at time of enlistment 

Muster Eoll of Captain D. W. Craig's company, enlisted 
for one year and enrolled in Callaway County, July 1, 1862, 
by Colonel Porter : 

D. W. Craig, 44, captain; G. E. Brooks, 22, first lieu- 
tenant; W. W. Craig, 29, second lieutenant; P. Wilkerson, 
34, junior second lieutenant ; John W. Pace, 28, first sergeant ; 
James S. Hart, 21, second sergeant; Thompson Fry, 24, third 
sergeant; William Mounee, 20, fourth sergeant; L. D. 
Brooks, 20, fifth sergeant; Craig Gaines, 40, first corporal; 
S. I. Smith, 28, second corporal ; J. W, Davis, 21, third cor- 
poral; J. W. Creed, 22, fourth corporal; W. H. Albertson, 22; 
Garret Adair, 20 ; D. Adams, 20 ; E. K. Adams, 16 ; S. P. 
Brooks, 25 ; Charles Boyle, 19 ; C. W. Baynham, 20 ; Samuel 
Burt 18; J. W. Boulware, 2Y; Moses Beaven, 27; J. M. 
Brown, 21 ; James Blue, 22 ; J. W. Bull, 19 ; J. R. Collier, 28 ; 
L. G. Clopton, 22 ; George Craghead, 20 ; John Calicoat, 17 ; 
S. N. Clark, 28; H. Chick, 21; S. S. Craghead, 21; Jule 
Crushon, 37; W. S. Crews, 22; E. A. Crews, 20; J. H, 
Orowson, 24 ; J. R. Craghead, 24 ; J. H. Craghead, 28 ; G, 
D. Cason, 17; H. G. Carlton, 28; William Douglas, 30 
George Dunlap, 22 ; A. Dickerson, 17 ; J. T. Davis, 21 ; W, 
B. Dickson, 18 ; Thomas Ford, 23 ; M. A. Faubion, 20 ; J 
P. Ferree, 38 ; William S. Gilbert, 24 ; R. R Goff, 35 ; J, 
D. Griffin, 23; A. Glasscock, 25; William Glasscock, 27; 
George Gregg, 18; Ben Griggs, 25; William Gass, 20; J, 
W. D. Hudson, 45 ; William Harding, 22 ; M. Hereford, 20 
John H. Holland, 20, James Hays, 19 ; Bent Hays, 22 ; J 



398 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

T. Houseman, 25 ; W. C, Harrison, 25 ; James Humphreys, 
21 ; James Jones, 23 ; D. G. Kemper, 21 ; A. J. Keeling, 17 ; 
H. I. Liter, 22 ; J. O. Leake, 26 ; John Malony, 22 ; William 
McCowen, 17 ; J. T. McDonald, 20 ; J. F. Moran, 28 ; James 
McMurtry, 17; E. S. McKinney, 17; F. M. McGrew, 24 
P. J. Meadows, 18; W. R. Nevins, 17; Berryman Mchols, 
20; Joseph Orno, 46; J. L. Pierce, 33; James Pugh, 27 
James Eupert, 19 ; Joseph Eingo, 25 ; John W. Ridgway, 28 
John Eod^rs, 30 ; J. H. Snedecor, 16 ; Geoi^ Smith, 17 
F. M. Stephens, 21 ; E. M. Sitton, 19 ; Henry Spatswell, 21 
William Sallee, 19 ; J. W. Stokes, 20 ; H. H. Stokes, 28 ; J, 
H. Stewart, 17 ; Drury Treadway, 34 ; Irwin Treadway, 19 

E. E. Thomas, 16; W. E. Terry, 25; William Utt, 24 
Thomas TJtt, 22; A. E. Vanhom, 21; Sam Womack, 17 
Edward Walton, 22 ; James Wright, 16 ; Ben Wood, 23 ; W. 

F. Wadley, 21 ; D. L Wainscot, 20 ; A. C. White, 16 ; F. M, 
Wilkerson, 24; Thomas Wadley, 18; H. C. Young, 17 
E. G. Young, 27. 

The commissioned officers were elected and non-commis- 
sioned officers were appointed November 9, 1862. 

G. E, Bbooks, 
Captain, Co. E, 9th Mo. Infty. 
Nov. 9, 186S. — (Place not given.) 

On margin below the certificate is the memorandum: A 
true copy of original at organization of company. 

In the roll of August 30, 1863, at Little Eock, Arkansas, 
as Company H, of the Ninth Regiment, Missouri Volunteer 
Infantry, Colonel John B. Clark, Jr., commanding, S. I. 
Smith is put down as fourth sergeant instead of William 
Mounce; W. C. Harrison as fifth sergeant instead of L. B. 
Brooks; John McDonald as second corporal instead of S. I. 
Smith, and John Creed as third corporal instead of J. W. 
Davis. 

The names not on former muster roll are: E. S. Creed, 
W. H. McKelvey, Sam Matier, James Simco and J. D. 
Treadway. 

Discipline, instruction, military appearance, arms, ac- 
coutrements are marked as good; clothing inferior. The 
officers and men number sixty-one. 

At Camp Kirby Smith, from February 29, 1864, to June 



APPENDIX 399 

30, 1864, Colonel E. H. Musser, George R. Brooks is given 
as captain; W. W. Craig, first lieutenant; James S. Hart, 
second lieutenant; John W. Pace, junior second lieutenant; 
Thompson Fry, first sergeant ; S. I. Smith, second sergeant ; 
W. C. Harrison, third sergeant ; John T. McDonald, fourth 
sergeant; William P. Gass, fifth sergeant; John W. Ci-eed, 
first corporal ; John Malony, second corporal ; Samuel S. Crag- 
head, third corporal ; H. G. Carlton, fourth corporal. James 
S. Hart was acting adjutant to the regiment. W. H. Albert- 
son detailed as clerk in adjutant's office, brigade headquar- 
ters. L, D. Brooks sick in hospital at Little Rock. 0. W. 
Baynham wounded at Pleasant Hill, La., April 9, 1863, still 
near that place. J. W. Boulware, wounded same time and 
place, sent to hospital at Shreveport. James Blue and G. D. 
Cason, sick in hospital, Little Rock. S. N". Clark, taken 
prisoner at Pleasant Hill, La., April 9, 1863, since exchanged 
and now sick near Pleasant Hill. William S. Gilbert, de- 
tailed as courier June 15, 1863, by order of General Frost, 
to report to same. J. L. Pierce, left sick on the march from 
Little Rock. J. H. Snedecor, wounded at Jenkins Ferry, 
Arkansas, April 30, 1864, since furloughed for sixty days. 
George Smith, detailed at (illegible) by order of Colonel 
Clark, report to same. Henry Spatswell, left sick in hospi- 
tal at Little Rock. J. W. Simco, wounded at Pleasant Hill, 
La., April 9, 1863, now in hospital in Kingston. Garrett 
Adair, died August 8, 1863. A. R. Vanhom, left sick near 
Mansfield, April 14, 1864. John Callicoat, killed in the 
action at Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas, April 30, 1864. J. D. 
Griffin, died from wound received in action at Jenkins Ferry, 
May 10, 1864. Fifty-one officers and men. 

Record of events : This company has been engaged twice 
since last muster. At Pleasant Hill, on the 9th of April, 
1864, there were thirteen men wounded, none kiUed, At 
Jenkins Ferry, 30th of April, 1864, one man killed in the 
action, one died from wounds received there, and seven were 
wounded. Traveled the distance of seven hundred miles 
since the 20th of March, 1864. 

Discipline, instruction, arms and accoutrements good; 
military appearance fair and would be good if the men were 
clothed; clothing wretched. 



400 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

J 
THE LAST GUNS 

There were many Missourians on each side in the battle 
of Blakeley. After it had been in progress some time the 
Confederate commander received information of the sur- 
render of Joe Johnston. He immediately ordered the white 
flag hoisted. Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas M. Carter, of my 
native county of Lincoln, who died last year (1908), com- 
manded a Confederate regiment. He ordered his men not to 
look at the flag and not to cease firing without his orders. 
He then hid himself. It was nearly an hour before he was 
foimd. When he was compelled to give the order to cease 
firing he cried like a child. Thus it was that the last guns 
of the war were fired by Lincoln County Confederate soldiers. 

In the Trans-Mississippi Department, after the surrender 
of Lee and Johnston, the Missouri officers, Generals Price 
and Shelby, and Colonels Lewis and Musser, with the enthu- 
siastic endorsement of their troops, endeavored to arrange 
matters for a concentration in Texas and a resistance until 
the last Missourian had laid down his life. (See Shelby and 
His Men, by Edwards.) But the movement failed. The 
wail of Shelby in his last address indexed the sentiment of 
every Missouri Confederate : 

SoLDiEES OF Shelby's Divisioir ! The crisis of a nation's 
fate is upon you. I come to you in this hour of peril and of 
gloom, as I have often come when your exultant shouts of 
victory were loud on the breezes of Missouri, relying upon 
your patriotism, your devotion, your heroic fortitude and 
endurance. By the memory of our past efforts, our brilliant 
reputation, our immortal dead, our wrecked and riven hearth- 
stones, our banished and insulted women, our kindred fate 
and kindred ruin, our wrongs unrighted and unavenged, I 
conjure you to stand shoulder to shoulder and bide the 
tempest out. I promise to remain with you until the end. 
To share your dangers, your trials, your exile, your destiny, 
and your lot shall be my lot, and your fate shall be my fate, 
and come what may, poverty, misery, exile, degradation. 
Oh ! never let your spotless banner be tarnished by dishonor. 



APPENDIX 401 

If there be any among you who wish to go from our midst 
when the dark hour comes, and the bright visions of liberty 
are paling beyond the sunset shore, let him bid farewell to 
the comrades whom no danger can appal and no disaster deter, 
for the curse of the sleepless eye and the festering heart will 
be his reward, as the women of Missouri, the Peris of a ruined 
Paradise, shall tell how Missouri braves fought imtil the 
Confederate Flag "by inches was torn from the mast." 

Stand by the ship, boys, as long as there is one plank 
upon another. AH your hopes and fears are there. All that 
life holds nearest and dearest is there. Your bleeding 
mother-land, pure and stainless as an angel-guarded child, is 
there. The proud, imperial South, the nurse of your boyhood 
and the priestess of your faith is there, and calls upon you, her 
children, her best and bravest, in the pride and purity of 
your blood, to rally round her altar's shrine, the blue skies 
and green fields of your nativity, and send your scornful 
challenge forth, "The Saxon breasts are equal to the Norman 
steel." 

If Johnston follows Lee, and Beauregard and Maury and 
Forrest all go; if the Cis-Mississippi Department surrender 
its arms and quit the contest, let us never surrender. For 
four long years we have taught each other to forget that word, 
and it is too late to learn it now. Let us meet as we have met 
in many dark hours before, with the hearts of men who have 
drawn the sword and thrown away the scabbard, and resolve 
with the deep, eternal, irrevocable resolution of freemen, that 
we will never surrender. 

T%is Missouri Division Surrender 9 My God ! Soldiers, 
it is more terrible than death. 



K 

THE BLACKFOOT RANGERS 

Captain Harvey McKinney organized this company at 
Everetts, Boone County and when he was promoted to 
colonel Lieutenant L. M. Frost was elected captain and later 
on John Bowles was made first lieutenant. Their first battle 
was at Moore's Mill. Judge C. C. Turner sends thirty-nine 

(26) 



402 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

other names as members of this company, these being all he 
can remember : Ben Ashcorn, William Barrett, Henry Bat- 
terton, Eance Batterton, Nathan Bowles, Richard Bowles, 
James Brown, Harrison Brown, Perry Brown, Eiley Brown, 
William Brown, Daniel Davenport, Harrison Davenport, 
John Davenport, Milton Davenport, Mat Evans, W. R 
Froet, John Hendricks, John Jeffries, Washington Jones, 
John McKenzie, Frank Patton, John Patton, Henry Pigg, 
Tuck Powell, George Rowland, Marion Rowland, Abe Ru- 
mans, James Rumans, John Rumans, William Smith, Ben 
Stephens, James Taylor, Arch Turner, A. C. Turner, G. G. 
Turner, T. B, Wade, Sam Wheeler and Frank White. 



L 

THE BURNING OF JOINER'S HOME 

Shortly after the battle of Moore's Mill Comrade Joiner's 
home was burned by a detail of Company I, Second Missouri 
State MiUtia, under Lieutenant William J. HoUiday. "Old 
Robert Joiner, living several miles northwest of ShelbyviUe, 
in the edge of Tiger Fork township, was accused of 'keeping 
a rendezvous for guerrillas and murdering bushwhackers,' " 
according to the History of Shelby Coimty, page 737, and 
his was one of the houses — "* * * the houses of 
certain Confederates in Shelby were burned by order of 
the military authorities. Generals McNeil and Merrill." 
Continuing, the account says: "Dinner was cooking 
when the burning party arrived. The orders were, 
'You have half an hour to get out your things.' The 
soldiers assisted the family in removing everything to 
a place of safety. There was but one man about the 
premises, a Mr. Cochrane, a son-in-law of Joiner's, who 
ipade his homo here. His wife was very iU and was borne 
out of doors on the lounge whereon she was lying. Harry 
Latimer's wife, a daughter of Joiner's, was then living at her 
father's with her children, while her husband was out with 
Porter. A few days later he was captured and executed. 
Mr. Joiner himself was a prisoner in ShelbyviUe at the time. 
His three sons were in the Confederate service. 



APPENDIX 403 

"Not only waa Joiner's house burned, but his bam and all 
the out-buildings. A new sled was drawn out of the bam 
before the building was fixed. When the fire had swept away 
everything the family found homes among the neighbors. 
Not long afterwards Joiner was released on oath and bond, 
and returned to his family. But he had contracted a severe 
cold m prison, and his health and spirits were broken. The 
next spring he died. Both Joiner and Holliday were old 
pioneers together, and among the very first settlers. But the 
wax madeenemies everywhere and among all classes. 

"Captain A. G. Priest, of Company I, was sent into Jef- 
• ferson township to burn some houses down there — 'bush- 
whackers' nests' the militia called them. The dwellings of 
Carter Baker and John Maupin, below Clarence, were 
burned. Carter Baker had been wounded in one of the 
skirmishes of Porter's raid, and was lying in a bed stiff and 
sore when he was borne on his couch into the yard, with his 
'Lares and Penates.' He cursed at the harsh policy of bum- 
ing the houses of wounded men and swore at the Federals 
generally. 'Hush,' said Captain Priest, impressively, 'you 
may be thankful that your life is spared. There are men 
here who would kill you gladly and throw your body into the 
fire while your house is burning, and I can hardly restrain 
them.' " 



M 
DR. W, W. MACFARLANE 

Macon Citt, Mo., September 2, 1862. 
Majob Caxdweix : 

You will dispose of the prisoners as below directed in each 
case. The execution will be by shooting to death and I desire 
that it may be done publicly and with due form and solemnity, 
inasmuch as I wish the necessary effect produced without 
being compelled again to order an execution : 

Ist. John Gastemee, lo be shot to death on Friday, the 
5th of September, between the hours of 10 o'clock a. m. and 
3 o'clock p. m., at Mexico, Mo. 

Lewis Mjsbsxiz., 

Brigadier-General, Oomdg. Northeast Missouri Division. 



■104 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

2d. William W. McFarland, to be shot to death on 
Friday, the 5th of September, between the hours of 10 o'clock 
a. m. and 3 o'clock p. m., at Mexico, Mo. 

Lewis Meebiix, 

Brigadier-General, Comdg. Northeast Missouri Division. 

To be taken to the execution ground and the following order 
then read to him : 

In consideration of the noble stand taken for the right 
by your brother, Captain McFarland, of the Ninth Missouri 
State Militia, the commanding general is pleased to order 
that your life be spared and your sentence commuted to con- 
finement during the war. This is a tribute to the patriotism 
and sense of duly of lyour brother, and not out of considera- 
tion for a man who has not only committed the crime of 
unlawfully, and in violation of all the rules of civilized war, 
taking up arms against his Government, but who has added 
to that crime the fearful offense of blackening with perjury 
a soul already stained with crimes which no right-minded 
man can view except with horror and disgust. Let the awful 
example before you teach you the lesson you evidently so 
much need, and show by your earnest repentance of your 
crimes that you are again worthy to be called brother by an 
honest man. 

LiEWIS MsBBUX., 

Brigadier-General, Comdg. Northeast Missouri Division. 

3d. Solomon Donaldson, to be shot to death on Friday, 
the 5th of September, between the hours of 10 o'clock a. m. 
and 3 o'clock p. m., at Mexico, Mo. 

Lewis Mebiuxx, 

Brigadier-General, Comdg. Northeast Missouri Division. 

■ Dr. Maefarlane, now practicing medicine in Mexico, Mis- 
souri, the only unwounded prisoner captured at Moore's 
Mill, his capture being due to partial color blindness, writes : 
After my commutation from shooting to imprisonment I 
was sent to Gratiot street prison, St. Louis, September 20, 



APPENDIX 405 

1862, where I remained until January 7, 1863. I was then 
sent to the prison at Alton, where I remained to the end of 
that year. I worked in the two prisons for fifteen months. 
I do not know that my brother had anything to do with my 
commutation of sentence. Two old friends of my father 
went to see Greneral Merrill and secured a change of sentence. 
After a few days' confinement Gastamee was unconditionally 
discharged and he returned to his home in Kentucky. The 
last I ever heard of Donaldson he was in Alton prison. 



N 
COLOlSfEL GATES, OF ALABAMA 

About the middle of August, 1864, Colonel "William C. 
Gates, of the Forty-eighth Alabama regiment of infantry, 
was brought into Howard's Grove hospital, Richmond, Va., 
with his right arm amputated very near the shoulder. The 
wound was healing favorably and without suppuration, but 
the following from his book, "The War Between the Union 
and the Confederacy," page 380, tells of a nearly fatal 
hemorrhage: "Just three weeks after I was wounded, one 
night when all the doctors except Joseph A. Mudd were 
down in the city at a ball or some entertainment, the ligature 
sloughed off the sub-clavian artery and the blood poured out 
of me in a sluice. I sank very rapidly. Doctor Mudd got 
to me, seized my shoulder, and stopped it. My bed was 
flooded with blood. I saw death close at hand. My whole 
life passed rapidly before me in panorama, and while I felt 
a regret that I had not been a better man, yet I was not afraid 
to die, but preferred to live. It was a very consoling thought 
that I had never committed any great crime. I scarcely had 
a hope of living through the night." I happened to be the 
officer of the day, on which account I had to sleep in the 
ofiice. Had I not been a very light sleeper, always awakened 
by the slightest unusual noise. Colonel Gates would never 
have sat in the Federfl Congress or been governor of Alabama. 



406' WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

o 

A REBEL LETTER CARRIER 

3820 WiNDsoE Place, St. Louis, 

January H, 1908. 
Sib : While in Troy, Missouri, last week, during my trial 
for killing Joe Hines, I had the pleasure of meeting your 
brother, Mr. A. H. Mudd, one of the jury which in a short 
time vindicated my action in the case. He called my atten- 
tion to your notice in the Free Press asking the names of any 
old Confederates who knew Colonel Joe Porter. I not only 
had the pleasure of knowing him, but also the honor of being 
in the same command under General Price, and we were in 
many long marches and battles together; notably, Shelbina, 
Lexington, Pea Ridge or Elkhom. I was quite near him 
when he received a wound in the head at Lexington. He 
and Colonel Martin E. Green captured the steamer Sunshine, 
with Federal troops on board, at Glasgow and transferred sev- 
eral thousand troops from the north side of the Missouri 
River and all joined General Price at Lexington. .1 was 
pilot on the Simshine after her capture and I took her up 
to Lexington. After the army was reorganized and the State 
Guard was turned over to the Confederate States I lost track 
of Colonel Porter. He was an honorable man and a brave 
soldier. Tours, 

Ab. C. Geimes. 

The Missouri Democrat of September 6, 1862, tells of the 
capture of the rebel letter carrier, Abner Grimes, and prints 
a number of letters found in his bag, including several from 
young ladies in North Missouri to their lovers in the Con- 
federate army. One from a father to his son is worth pre- 
serving : 

Fulton, Mo., August £7th, 1862. 

My Deae Son: Tour letter of the 10th August is at 
hand. In answer to which I would say we are all in good 
health, and have good crops and the neighbors are generally 
well. 

The Feds have played hell here since you left. None of 
them are in town now. The brush is full of rebels in every 



APPENDIX 407 

direction. Will probably get up a considerable army -when 
they concentrate. 

We have some damn big fights, withia hearing of our house 
every day. A very severe engagement took place at Moore's 
Mill on the St. Louis road about two weeks since — they gave 
the Federals particular hell, killing some nineteen and 
■wounding three times that number. They have had me in 
limbo twice — the first time for general disloyalty, the second 
time for hailing my old friend, Milt. Davis, who the Federals 
mistook for Jeff, of Mississippi. They kept me about one 
month and I ate so damn much they had to release me as a 
matter of economy to the Government. Bill Walton and 
all the boys are in camp, ready for any emergency. The 
draft in the State, if attempted, will drive the entire popula- 
tion (with the exception of a few dead heads) into the brush, 
women, children and negroes not excepted. 

Tell old Price, for God's sake come on ; if he delays much 
longer the Feds will utterly desolate the country. Boys, I 
want you to fight like hell until this matter is settled. 

Your father, 

John L. Tatloe. 



P 
TOO BAD EVEN FOR HURLBURT 

The Sixteenth Illinois Eegiment in its short stays in 
Northeast Missouri earned so unsavory a reputation for all 
manner of cruel and indecent outrages that General S. A. 
Hurlburt, commanding at Quincy, who was not a man of the 
finest or tenderest feeling, issued, July 14, 1861, to Colonel 
John M. Palmer, of the Fourteenth Illinois, who was after- 
wards governor of Illinois, United States Senator, and who, in 
1896, with the Confederate General, Simon B. Buckner, was 
the Gold Democratic candidate for President, the following 
order: 

SiE : Your regiment is ordered back tomorrow to be joined 
by Colonel Grant's, who will bring you detailed orders and 
meet you at Palmyra. I regret to learn that disorder and 
depredations have marked the Sixteenth Eegiment in Mis- 



408 WITH PORTER IN NORTE MISSOURI 

aouri. As senior colonel you will repress this at all hazards. 
No violence or robbery, no insults to women and children, no 
wanton destruction of property will be tolerated. License 
must be repressed by the sharpest remedies and any officer 
who permits or encourages it will lose his oonomission. 

Yours, 

S. A. HUBLBUBT, 

Brigadier-Oeneral, U. 8. Vols. 

On the same day he wrote an emphatic order to Colonel 
Smith of the Sixteenth, and two days later issued General 
Order No. 2, on same subject. 



Q 

A MISFIT OFFICER 

Colonel Lipscomb's military record was not a very glorious 
one. He was more successful in applying rude and abusive 
language and epithets to Mrs. Porter while a defenseless pris- 
oner than he was in fighting her husband. With a force 
superior in numbers by ten to one he allowed Colonel Porter 
to get away with less loss than he himself received. The 
History of Lewis County, page 115, thus tells of it : Hearing 
of the invasion of this portion of the territory over which 
they claimed absolute control, the Federals at once set about 
to drive out the presumptuous Confederates. Colonel Henry 
S. Lipscomb and Majors Benjamin and Kogers, with some 
companies of the Eleventh Missouri State Militia, set out at 
once, struck the trail and followed it to Colony. Here they 
were joined by Major Pledge with a detachment of the Second 
Missouri State Militia, and the united forces pressed rapidly 
on, marching night and day, until the 26th of June, when 
they overtook Porter at Cherry Grove in the northeastern 
part of Schuyler County, near the Iowa line, where, with a 
superior force, they attacked and defeated him, routing his 
forces and driving them southward. The loss in this fight 
was inconsiderable on either side, but among the Federals 
killed were Captain Horace E. York, of Lipscomb's regiment, 



APPENDIX 409 

and Porter lost ConneU R. Bashore, of Palmyra. Porter 
at the head of the main body of his command retreated 
rapidly, followed by Lipscomb, who moved very leisurely, 
and did not seem at all anxious to overtake his enemy. For 
what was considered his mismanagement of the affair at 
Cherry Grove, and his inefficency in pursuit. Colonel lipsh 
comb was subsequently removed from command. 
He was discharged July 18, 1862. 



R 

THE PALMYRA COURIER'S ACCOUNT OF THE 
CAPTURE OF PALMYRA 

The Courier of September 12, 1862, says: 

After working off about 200 of our edition last night for 
the early mails, we retired to rest, the town being unusually 
quiet. 

This (Friday) morning, about 6 o'clock, as we awoke, we 
arose and stepped to the window to close an open blind. 
Five armed men at that moment filed up before the front of 
our residence. They were dressed in citizen's clothes, and 
the first thought was that they were Enrolled Militia. The 
truth at the next instant flashed upon us. They were veri- 
table bushwhackers, and the house was undoubtedly sur- 
rounded. Brief time for escape was left. How that time 
was improved it is not worth while to relate. The house 
was within two minutes thoroughly searched by armed rebels, 
with huge navy revolvers cocked and thrust forward as if 
anticipating a formidable foe. But tlie search for the editor 
was vain. The bird had flown. 

We relate these incidents as illustrative of the manner in 
which the town was entered; for although pickets were 
stationed upon all the principal avenues leading into the 
town, not a shot was fired, not an alarm was given, not a 
drum beat a single tap, until fifteen minutes after our resi- 
dence and that of Colonel Lipscomb had been surroimded, 
and the Colonel himself taken prisoner. The occurrences 
took place within one square (diagonally) of the court-house; 



410 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

yet all was so quietly done that the town seemed sunk in the 
deepest slumber. 

The rebels were not long after this discovered at 
"quarters," when the drums at the court-house and Louthan's 
store beat the alarm, arousing the slumbering soldiers and 
citizens to a sense of their critical position. 

It appears that the rebels, about three hundred and fifty 
or four hundred strong, stealthily approached the city from 
the west, hitching their horses in the woods a half or three- 
quarters of a mile west of the limits of the city. They then 
came through the fields by Mr. Berkley Summers's residence, 
thence through Sloan's Addition, north of the residence of 
Mrs. Mahan, and thence east as far as Main Street. They 
surrounded the residence of Colonel Lipscomb a few moments 
before they did our own. A servant opening the door of his 
dwelling, without warning to his family, three young ruffians 
rushed instantly into his bedroom and presenting close to his 
breast, in the presence of his wife, three double-barreled 
shotguns, ready cocked, cried out: "Surrender! surrender! 
surrender!" He demanded to know who they were. Their 
only reply was : "Surrender I" After marching him one and 
a half miles west of town he was permitted to return to his 
family, who occupied an exposed point, on conditirai that he 
would take no part in the fight then prrogressing, but remain 
in his house ready to answer the demand of Porter at its 
close. It seems that they left in too much haste to make the 
demand. 

The main body of their forces was stationed in companies 
upon Olive, Church and Hamilton streets, between Dickin- 
son and Spring streets, and along Spring street Some of 
them ventured up to Main street on Olive, but most of them 
kept one square west of Main. A company in command (it 
is thought) of John N. Hicks, was stationed on Olive, south 
of and behind the residence of Dr. Lafon. Others entered 
the Methodist Church and cutting out slats from the north 
window blinds, brought their guns to bear upon the court- 
house, a square distant. Some approached to Main street 
and sheltered themselves at Shepherd's comer from the fire 
of OUT boys at Louthan's store, one square north and across 
the street. Another company was stationed near the Presby- 
terian Church, and west of Mr. Lipscomb's residence. An- 



APPENDIX 411 

other company still was a street farther south. Other com- 
panies or detachments went to the Hannibal and St. Joe 
depot, stopping the up train, and taking prisoner Mr. Alex. 
Leighton, belonging to the Palmyra company, Enrolled 
Militia. They soon released him on parole. 

Meantime, little or no fighting had occurred. Our forces 
were as follows : Thirty of Captain Dubach's Hannibal com- 
pany (E), stationed at the court-house; twenty-two of the 
same company at the jail, (one square west of the court- 
house) a part of the Palmyra and West Ely companies, En- 
rolled Militia, (numbering perhaps thirty) at Louthan's two- 
story brick store, comer of Main and Lafayette streets; a 
few citizens — perhaps six or eight — also gathered there. 

The rebels, passing through the alley leading from Olive 
to Lafayette streets, between Main and Dickinson, got into 
the drinking saloon of Thomas Eeed, and also into the room 
of Thompson's store, immediately south of the court-house. 
They also got into the brick residence of Mrs. Willock, just 
south of the jail, from which they commanded the court- 
house. They soon opened fire from these various places, at 
tolerably long range, upon the court-house. This was replied 
to with so much spirit by our troops that the rebels were not 
much inclined to follow it up. 

In the jail were nearly fifty rebel prisoners. They have 
been guarded by twelve men : but at the first alarm Captain 
Dubach sent ten more to their support. These, in the brick 
part of the jail, were deemed sufficient to hold it against 
almost any number. One of the principal designs of the 
rebels seem to be to release these prisoners. The firing had 
not been long in progress when the officer in command of 
the jail, Sergeant E. C. Davis, it is charged, contrary to the 
unanimous desire of his command, displayed a white flag. 
Lieutenant Daulton at once hauled it down. It was dis- 
played again, and again indignantly hauled down. It is said 
that the sergeant for the third time displayed the flag, and 
that it was even then torn away by the brave soldier. 

By this time the rebels, availing themselves of the con- 
fusion caused by these acts among the defenders of the jail, 
had so surrounded it, and taken such positions, that resistance 
would have been madness, and they were compelled to sur- 
render. Two or three of our troops threw down their guns, 



412 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

and escaped through the rebels. The rest were taken to their 
camp, west of town, and there paroled. The soldiers at the 
jail are very indignant at the conduct of Sergeant Davis, and 
consider it disgraceful in the extreme. What he may have 
to say for himself we do not know. 

Meantime, scattering shots were exchanged between our 
forces and the rebels, who took good care to keep well out of 
range of our Enfield rifles. 

One citizen, a German Union man, Mr. J. B. Liborius, 
unarmed, in front of his store, east of Main street (nearly 
opposite the court-house), was shot in the head by the rebels 
and almost instantly killed. He was an industrious, good 
citizen. The same shot struck a soldier of the 11th M. S. M., 
who was standing just behind Mr. Liborius, and entering 
at the nose, caused a dangerous if not a mortal wound. His 
name is Phillips. 

In the court-house two of our men were wounded. One 
was Thomas Arnold, of Company E, Hannibal Enrolled 
Militia, wounded severely, but not dangerously, in the right 
thigh. The other was a soldier named Hyland, belonging to 
Company B, 2nd Eegiment, M. S. M. He was wounded in 
the breast — it is feared mortally. 

Sergeant Silas Renick, of Lieutenant R. B. Laird's recruit- 
ing party (stationed here), belonging to the 11th Regiment, 
Missouri Volunteers, U. S. A., was shot three times by the 
rebels as he was returning from Louthan's store to the re- 
cruiting office, a block and a half south, nearly opposite the 
iN^ational Hotel. He had, against the remonstrances of 
Lieutenant Laird, gone down to Louthan's store at the first 
alarm. After being there some moments he thought it a 
false alarm, and began to return. Meantime, a party of 
rebels had gathered together at Shepherd's three-story brick 
building, on the south side, and were peering around the 
comer. He seeing them, and mistaking them for militia, 
began to cross diagonally to meet them. They called upon 
him to halt, which he did. He then stepped forward, when 
they fired a whole volley upon him. He fell, but rising, 
struggled on, when he was again fired upon. He finally 
reached the west side of the pavement and crawled into the 
recess made by the closed front doors of Shepherd's store. 
There he bled profusely and siiffered intensely. 



APPENDIX 413 

We have here to record an act of courage of the noblest sort 
upon the part of a lady. Mrs. A. B. Lansing, seeing the 
■wounded man from her residence on the east side of Main 
street, asked permission to cross the street to attend him. 
The rebels replied that she would do so at her peril. She 
did not hesitate a moment, but, taking a pitcher of water, 
crossed the street, going directly across the line of the firing 
between the rebels at the comer and our men at Louthan's 
store, and furnished water to the stricken man, now tortured 
by raging thirst How grateful the draught of water ! How 
noble the act ! No pen can fully paint tiie true and unselfish 
heroism of that one incident. Renick, though dreadfully 
wounded in his arm and body, finally managed to arise and 
walk across the street to Mrs. MuldroVs, where he was kindly 
treated by ladies. It is hoped that the wounds are not mortal. 
These embrace all the easualities we have heard on our side. 
They include one kiUed, three dangerously and one severely 
wounded. 

The rebel loss, as far as ascertained, was one killed and 
one dangerously wounded. The one killed was McLaughlin, 
a resident, we believe, of this county. He was shot through 
the head while in Eeed's saloon ; was taken to the Methodist 
Church, where he soon died, and was left a ghastly spectacle. 
Henry Bowles was shot while standing close by Lafon's house, 
by a ball from the court-house. He was carried away by his 
comrades — placed in a carriage and taken off. It is sup- 
posed he was dangerously wounded in the breast or stomadu 
Reports were circulated that eight or ten rebels were seen 
lying out west of the railroad, but they are not well 
authenticated. 

After about two hours' stay in the place, the rebels left as 
suddenly as they appeared. They returned to their horses, 
and, it is reported, took a northerly direction. They carried off 
with them as prisoners Mr. Andrew Allsman, an old and well 
known citizen of this place ; also Mr. Chas. Maddock, of this 
county. 

They entered the gun shop of Mr. Fred Milsttead by break- 
ing in the back door, and completely riddling it of its contents. 
They took a large number of rifles, muskets and shotguns 
placed there by our military for repairs ; also all the private 
arms and stock ovmed by Mr. M. They smashed in his show 



414 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

cases, shivering the glass to atoms, and doing a great deal of 
wanton and needless injury. Indeed, they left the interior 
of his shop pretty much a wreck. He places his loss at $1,500. 

They entered no other store or shop that we know of. 
FroiQ Dr. Hinde and Colonel Lipscomh they took each a horse. 
From private houses we have not heard tiiat they took any- 
thing. In their behavior toward our own family we must 
do them the justice to say they behaved very gentlemanly. 
They disturbed nothing in or about the premises. The 
peaches suffered more than anything else. We hope they did 
not kill any of our cats when they amused themselves with 
firing into the thick tomato vines and other vegetable shelters 
in the garden. If they did we forgive them. 

About 8 o'clock the town was once more clear, and citizens 
began to show themselves again upon the street. Dispatches 
were sent to Hannibal and Quincy for reinforcements. 
About 11 o'clock a. m. Colonel Hayward came from Hanni- 
bal with Company D, E. M., and with several other com- 
panies. Other and heavy reinforcements are looked for from 
Quincy or elsewhere — ^that is, if the authorities take any in- 
terest in the matter. If they don't we suppose the town will 
go to — grass. 

By a comparison of the views of various observing parties, 
we place the number of rebels actually in town at between 
three hundred and fifty and four hundred. That they had 
a considerable reserve force at no very great distance, we are 
satisfied. 

All the rebel chieftains in this part of the country were 
here. They were : Jo Porter, Jim Porter, "Crockett" Davis, 
Snyder (the same who figured at Ashley), John N. Hicks, 
Morris Gibbons and Dave Davenport. All these persons 
were seen and recognized, beyond the slightest doubt, by 
parties personally acquainted with them. Colonel Lipscomb 
himself, while a prisoner, saw and conversed with both the 
Porters, Davenport, Davis and Gibbons. As he has long 
known them personally there can be no mistake in the matter. 

We cannot close this hastily drawn sketch without saying 
that Captain Dubach and all his company showed the true 
grit, and would never have surrendered. The West Ely and 
Palmyra boys were also full of fight, and ready to give the 
bushwhackers "particular fits" wherever there was a chance. 



APPENDIX 415 

s 

THE PALMYRA MASSACRE 

Almost immediately after the tragedy McNeil left Palmyra 
and, taking a boat at Hannibal, reached St. Louis Sunday 
morning. The next day the Missouri Democrat said edi- 
torially: "General McNeil, who has so distinguished him- 
self as commander of the military forces in Northeast Mis- 
souri, arrived in St. Louis yesterday from Palmyra. The 
general reports things very quiet in his district. 

"On Saturday last he caused ten of the rebel prisoners to 
be shot, a very extreme and harsh measure, and a very trying 
duty, yet one which he could not, under any circumstances, 
avoid. It appears that when Porter took Palmyra among 
the prisoners was an inoffensive old man named Allsman, 
for whom the guerrillas, for some unexplained reason, enter- 
tained a great dislike. All other prisoners captured by 
Porter were released but him, and nothing having been heard 
of him it was supposed he was murdered by the outlaws. 
Soon after his capture. General McNeil issued an order, which 
was published in the papers, to the effect that if Mr. Allsman 
was not released in ten days or his absence satisfactorily 
accounted for,^ he should cause ten of the prisoners in his 
custody to be shot. No response having been made, he 
selected ten who had already forfeited their lives by viola- 
tion of parole, and caused them, as we have stated, to be shot 
on Saturday last. 

"The proceeding caused much feeling iu Palmyra, but it 
was dearly a case in which there was no alternative, and 
there is no doubt the example will have a restraining and 
salutary influence upon the guerrillas who still skulk in the 
woods of that district." 

This and the following from the St. Joseph Herald are 
fair samples of the temper of the rabid press : 

"We wish we had a thousand McNeils in the land. If 
Jeff. Davis wishes to shoot ten Federal officers let him begin 
the work. Guerrillas are sent into this State to shoot Union 



'There was no sueli provision In the order; the only terms named or Inti- 
mated were that the ''said Andrew Allsman Is returned unharmed to his 
family within ten days from date." 



416 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

men in the back as they pass along the highways attending to 
their business. General McNeil ordered ten of them to be 
shot. We wish the nmnber had been greater. It is high 
time that Missouri was rid of bushwhackers and bushwhadk- 
ing sympathizers. General McNeil has fearlessly done his 
duty. Let the Government stand by him, and let Union men 
everywhere put their feet on men who sympathize with Jeff. 
Davis in his attempts to prevent the punishment of guerrillas." 
Two days after the shooting of the ten prisoners Strachan 
was relieved of the office of Provost Marshal : 

Special, Oedees No. 13. 
Headquahtees N. E. Missotjei Disteict, 

Macon City, Mo., Oct 20, 1862. 

The appointment of a Judge Advocate on the staff of the 
General commanding makes the appointment of a Provost 
Marshal Greneral no longer necessary in this District. 

Colonel W. R. Strachan is accordingly relieved from duty 
as Provost Marshal General, and all reports and returns here- 
tofore required to be sent to his office virill be sent to these 
Headquarters, addressed to "Judge Advocate, N. E. 
District." 

In relieving Colonel Strachan from his duties the General 
takes occasion to thank him publicly for his zeal and the 
success which has attended the discharge of his duties. His 
services have been invaluable and cheerfully and efficiently 
rendered ; and his thorough TJnionism,and sagacious discharge 
of his duty have done much toward the success whidi has 
attended the handling of rebels in this district 

By order of Brigadier General I^wis Merrill. 

Geo. M. Hottston, Major and A. A. 0. 

Under the heading of "The Missouri Execution," an edi- 
torial in the New York Times of December 1, 1862, says : 

"We are not surprised to find our foreign exchanges 
unanimous in their execrations of the act of General McNeil, 
of Missouri, in shooting ten rebel prisoners in alleged retalia- 
tion for the disappearance of one Union man when the rebels 
took possession of the town of Palmyra. The Times, the 
Herald, the Post, and other open and avowed advocates of the 
rebel cause, denounce the act with all the venom which their 



APPENDIX 417 

hatred of the Union cause naturally engenders. But the 
censure of the Star and other friendly journals are all the 
more weighty, because less unmeasured in their language and 
prompted by a real zeal for the honor of the American name. 
The Star, while it 'will not admit even a momentary suppo- 
sition that the Federal Government can lose an instant in 
washing its hands of the stain of this bloody business,' declares 
that 'if sanctioned or even tolerated, it will justly call down 
upon its abettors the reprobation of the civilized world.' 

"The Star will be glad to learn that Mcl^eil, the actor in 
this horrid tragedy, is not an officer of the National Army, nor 
has he any connection with the Government of the United 
States. He belongs to the "Home Guard" of the State of 
Missouri, an organization which exists solely under State 
authority for local defense against lawless marauders in the 
rebel service, and is outside the control of the National Gov- 
ernment. The whole transaction had no legitimate connec- 
tion with the war between the United States and the rebel 
Confederacy. It was an affair between lawless, unorganized 
and unauthorized parties on both sides. The rebel Porter, 
who commanded the force suspected of having murdered 
AUsman, was chief of a guerrilla band and McNeil commanded 
a body of men very similar in its organization and in the 
object it was intended to accomplish. 

"It suits the purposes of our foreign enemies to represent 
this transaction as tiie first instance of such lawless butchery 
during the war, and to throw the entire odium which justly 
attaches to so flagrant a disregard of the ordinary dictates of 
Christian civilization upon the Union cause. But it is per- 
fectly notorious that throughout the rebel States for months 
past men have been hung without even the formalities of 
military execution, for no crime whatever, but simply for 
adhering to the Union cause. In Tennessee, in Arkansas, 
and in Texas we have authentic report of hundreds of such 
cases ; and scores of refugees are now in Northern States who 
have been guilty of no other offense, and who have saved their 
lives only by flying from their own States, and by leaving 
their wives, their children, their property, and everything 
dear to them, to such protection as their rebel authorities may 
give them. None of these atrocities attract the slightest 
attention or comment from the foreign secession press, and 

(27) 



418 YflTR PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

yet they are precisely the same in character, though with 
even less show of justification than this solitary instance of 
a similar outrage on the Union side. 

"All these circumstances, weighty as they ought to be 
against the comments of our foreign enemies, do not affect in 
the least the essential character of the transaction. There 
can be no possible justification for such a butchery ; and our 
Government owes it to itself, to the country, and to the senti- 
ment of the civilized world, to mark by some prompt and 
distinct action its reprobation of it. Whether it has any 
such jurisdiction over Greneral McNeil or quasi the miUtaiy 
organization with which he is connected as will enable it to 
punish as it deserves this most barbarous and inhuman act, 
we cannot say, but whatever power it has in the case, direct 
or indirect, should be promptly exercised, not only to prevent 
the threatened retaliation of the rebel President, but to remove 
from the Union cause the damning stigma which such acts are 
calculated to impress upon it 

"We reprint in another column the report of the execution 
of the ten rebel prisoners, which is copied by the English press 
from the Palmyra Courier, together with a portion of the 
comments of the London Star. What the English supporters 
of the rebellion have to say of the matter is of little conse- 
quence ; but the Star's opinion is entitled to weight because 
it is that of a staunch and energetic friend of the Union 
cause." 

In its issue of Thursday, December 4, 1862, the Times 
eays: 

"We find the following paragraph in the Troy Daily Times 
of Friday last : 

" 'The Case of Genekal McNeil. 

" 'We perceive that some of our metropolitan contemporaries 
are squeamish about General McNeil's action in shooting ten 
men in Missouri, in retaliation for the supposed murder of 
a Union guide. They seem to regard it as of a piece with 
that sort of retaliation which Jeff. Davis proposes. This 
would, perhaps, be a fair criticism if the persons executed 
were regular soldiers of the Confederacy. Such was not the 
case. They were guerrillas — ^land pirates and outlaws of the 



APPENDIX 419 

basest sort. They -were not fighting in regular modes of war- 
fare, but in entire opposition to them — ^murdering helpless, 
unarmed men, ravishing women, burning houses, and plimder- 
ing everything upon which they could lay their hands. By 
common usage among nations, their lives were forfeited; 
General McNeil would have been justified in having them 
shot, even had the outrage for which they suffered never been 
perpetrated. Our cause is not likely to suffer from too much 
severity toward the enemy, but from the contrary weakness.' 

" 'Severity toward the enemy' is one thing — and the law- 
less, unregulated killing of individuals of the enemy who fall 
into our hands is another, is quite another. We are in favor 
of 'severity' toward the rebels — and we agree with our Troy 
namesake in the opinion that our cause is likely to suffer, 
as it has already suffered, from the 'contrary weakness.' 
But military severity has its laws, and it is of the utmost 
importance to those who resort to it that these laws should 
be carefully observed. There are certain practices in warfare 
which the whole world is agreed in considering as infamous. 
No matter what the character of the war may be, nor how 
righteous the cause, no belligerent can kill the wounded, 
slaughter the enemies who have surrendered, or butcher pris- 
oners, without calling down upon his head the lasting execra- 
tion of the civilized world. 

"It is quite possible that the men shot by General McNeil 
were precisely what the Troy times describes them — 'guer- 
rillas, land pirates and outlaws of the basest sort,' and that 
as such they deserved death. But it is very certain that 
it was not for these crimes that they were shot. Neither their 
character nor their infamous deeds had anything to do with 
their execution. If AUsman had been produced within the 
specified ten days, they would have lived — in spite of their 
crimes; and so far as appears they would have died for his 
non-appearance, if their characters had been perfectly 
spotless. 

"Their execution, if it had any military character at all, 
was an act of professed retaliation, and as such we are bound 
to judge it Nor should we permit our righteous animosity 
against the rebels to swerve us from a just and candid judg- 
ment. If it was not an act of retaliation, it was simply a 
killing, without trial, without even an accusation of crime. 



420 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

of ten unarmed prisoners. And as an act of retaliation we 
do not believe it can be justified by any recognized rules of 
war, or by any precedent which friends of the Union cause 
would not be ashamed to quote. There was no proof, in 
the first place, that AUsman had been murdered — he had 
simply disappeared. No communication, however, was had 
with the rebel general who was responsible for his fate ; no 
demand was made upon him for his return, nor is there the 
slightest evidence that he ever knew of the menaced retalia- 
tion. It is impossible to admit for a moment that retalia- 
tion of any sort can be practiced with such an absence of 
the forms and safeguards requisite to distinguish it from 
simple murder. 

"We beg the Troy Times and other friends of the Gk)vem- 
ment not to fall into the mistake of supposing that it needs 
such support as General McNeil was giving it when he shot 
those men, or that it can afford to adopt the practice of the 
rebels as the law of its own action. It holds, as they do not, 
a place among the civilized and Christian nations of the earth, 
and is thus amenable, both in peace and war, to the laws and 
usages which have their sanction. It is in no such peril 
as will warrant it in throwing aside all such restraints, or 
in disregarding, as of no moment, the just censure of the 
Christian world." 

The statement of the London Star, referred to and copied 
by the New York Times, is : 

"The Federal Government, the patriots of the Northern 
States, and all true friends of the cause for which those States 
are now in arms, have cause to execrate the name of the 
Federal soldier. General McNeil. That officer has just com- 
mitted an act of cold-blooded and monstrous cruelty, scarcely 
equaled by any of the deeds which even the exaggerations of 
partizanship has attributed to Tilly, to Claverhouse, or to 
Haynau. The story of this terrible act of blood will form 
probably the most painful episode upon which the mind of 
an American can hereafter dwell when reviewing the inci- 
dents of the war. . . . What comment is needed upon 
a crime like this? Its stupidity is as astounding as its 
ferocity is terrible. It is as great a blunder as it is a crime. 
Were General McNeil a greater soldier by far than has ap- 
peared on either side since this war began, his servioea to 



APPENDIX 421 

any cause -would be obliterated by such an act. We wiU not 
a(faiowledge that it inflicts any dishonor on the cause of the 
North, for we would not admit even a temporary supposi- 
tion that the Federal Government can lose an instant in 
washing its hands of the stain of this bloody business. Not 
the worst enemies of that Government, which, as it has dared 
great deeds has of course aroused bitter hatreds, could 
attribute to it even a momentary participation in the guilt of 
such a butchery. The military authorities of the North vdll, 
no doubly take steps to signify in an exemplary manner their 
horror and disgust at conduct, which, if sanctioned, or even 
tolerated, would justly call down upon its abettors the repro- 
bation of the civilized world. It has been the misfortune 
of many a great cause, long before this war of abolition, to 
be flung into a momentary shame by the brutality of some 
follower, who substituted for zeal the frenzied passion of .his 
own savage nature. No human foresi^t, no strenuousness 
of authority, exercised by the chiefs prevent such outrages. 
All that the Federal Govemmrait can do is to mark its stem 
condemnation of such a crime, and to take every step that 
lies within its power to prevent anything like the scene we 
have described from being ever exhibited again to the eyes 
of an astounded civilization. 

"Unfortunately, let the Northern Government do its best, 
the consequences of such crimes cannot be wholly arrested. 
The Confederates have not thus far conducted their part of 
the warfare in the most generous or chivalrous spirit. The 
passion which inflames so many Southern minds is rather 
that of mere fury than that of determined but honorable 
antagonism. How will the character of the Southern war- 
fare be affected by the news of General McNeil's hideous 
exploit ? How much of unthinking and remorseless ferocity 
will it not let loose to palliate on the Confederate side? 
How many revolting acts of barbarous reprisal may we 
not have to report on the part of the Southerners before 
the memory of McNeil's crime can even be subdued? 
How many an argument, how many an appeal for a new 
Navarino will not be foimded on this isolated and unparal- 
leled deed of one solitary butcher ? Will it not be vehemently 
urged by the enemies of the North that the causes whici 
were made the pretext for intervention in the instance 



422 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

of the Greek Eevolution have been supplied and set 
in full motion by the racample of General McNeil? Of 
late the American struggle had been remarkable for the 
lenient and generous arrangement made on both sides to 
facilitate the free exchange and release of prisoners. Sudi 
an event as this we have described may, perhaps, in the pas- 
sionate hearts of Southern partisans seem some excuse for 
an Agincourt massacre of their war captives. To degrade 
OT punish the instigator to such excesses will be an easy 
task. To suppress with his power the calamitous results of 
his extravagant abuse of it is a task scarcely within the reach 
of the Federal Government. All that it can do will surely 
be done, and we doubt not that Northern generals will show 
in the future an additional magnanimity and mercy in order 
to clear themselves of any possible suspicion of participation 
in the acts which fling a temporary odium on the cause they 
sustain. But the effect which General McNeil's conduct may 
have in furnishing a pretext for the excesses of Southern 
passion is, perhaps, destined to imprint his name forever on 
the most sanguinary page of the history of modem war." 

Strachan, relieved of oflBce by its abolishment October 20, 
had gone to his home in Shelby Coimty, and was in Novem- 
ber elected a member of the State legislature. Smarting 
under the terrible arraignment of the London Star and the 
New Tork Times he wrote the latter the following letter. 
Under the caption of "Vindication of General McNeil" it 
is printed in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 22, part 
1, page 861. 

Vindication of Geneeal McNbil. 

Headquabtees Provost-Marshal, 
Palmyra, Mo., December 10, 1862. 
To the Editor of the New York Times: 

Sib: Noticing in your issue of December 1 an extended 
extract from foreign papers, accompanied by an editorial upon 
the execution of ten rebels at this place, which extract and 
editorial appear based upon an entire misconstruction of the 
facts of the case, and thereby casting grave censure upon a 
meritorious oflficer, I am led (having by position at the time 
an opportunity of knowing everything connected with the 



APPENDIX 423 

transaction), out of regard to the truth of history, and to do 
justice to General McNeil, to address you upon the subject 
It is very diffictilt for men removed thousands of miles from 
the scene of action — ^men who are placed in a locality where 
law and order prevail, where loyalty is universal — to begin 
even to appreciate dightly the deep malice, the enormous 
crimes, the treacheries, the assassinations, the perjuries that 
invariably have characterized those, especially in Missouri, 
who have taken up arms avowedly to destroy their 
Government. 

Now, Mr. Editor, here in Missouri our Government com- 
menced by extending toward the rebels in our midst every 
kindness, and a degree of clemency that soon caused it to be 
much safer, in every part of our State, to be a rebel than to be 
a Union man. Every neighborhood was covered, whilst the 
Govenmient was maintaining within the State a large force, 
at no time less than fifty thousand men, and often largely 
overrunning those figures. Still treason continued rampant, 
traitors publicly held forth on the clemency with which they 
were treated, regarding it as a proof and confession of the 
weakness of the Government, that she does not hurt anyone. 
Union men and their families were forced to leave their homes 
and their all and fly for protection and for life to the loyal 
States. I have seen hundreds of wagons on their way to 
Uliniois and other States — ^families who have lived in inde- 
pendent circumstances forced to live on corn-meal and water 
and beg their way along. The Union troops, by their kind- 
ness, were absolutely offering a premium to treason and to 
crime. Their presence, under the orders they were forced to 
act on, became, instead of protection, absolutely a terrible evil. 
Union men dared not give the troops information ; assassina- 
tion was sure to follow. Things went on from bad to worse. 
Soon the scoimdrels began the innocent pastime of shooting 
into the passengers-cars, or burning railroad bridges, not as 
a military necessity, but for the sole purpose of murder. 
Hundreds of non-combatants were crippled and murdered — 
wives made insane by the enormous outrages they committed. 
Some of the men perpetrating these hideous crimes were 
caught. I participated in the action of the commission ap- 
pointed to try them. They were proved guilty and sen- 
tenced to be shot ; the sentence approved by General Halleck, 



424 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

commanding Department of the Mississippi; that sentence 
delayed in its execution, and not carried out to this day, 
some of the miscreants have been turned loose once more. 
Such clemen(r^ proved to be the most horrid cruelty. The 
unfortunates of our State, who held that loyalty to their Gov- 
ernment was a sacred duty and holy duty that they could not 
cast aside, began to look at one anotitier in surprise and horror. 
Will our Government never imderstand our situation ? Will 
it continue to strengthen the cause of the robbers and mur- 
derers? What is to become of us? Stout-hearted men, 
whose families would not permit of leaving, sat down in the 
midst of their household goods and shed tears of hopeless 
agony. Midnight parties had come round and absolutely 
disarmed every man of even half-way loydty. Their horses 
and wagons, their only available means of transit, were stolen 
from them. During this time our troops would take prisoner 
after prisoner. I, myself, acting as provost-marshal-general 
of the District of Northeaatem Missouri, administered the 
oath of allegiance to several thousand traitors, and took bonds 
for observance of the oath to the amount of over $1,000,000 ; 
still no stop to the outrages of the rebels. Finally, General 
Schofield, whom all who know must admit to be a gentleman of 
remarkable kindness of heart, began to come up to the exigency 
of the times, and issued General Orders No. 18, an extract 
of which appears hereinafter. That order, has, I believe, 
never been countermanded, and is in force to this day. 

As a specimen of the situation, let me inform you that an 
old Baptist preacher, named Wheat, was murdered by a rebel 
gang within five or six miles of Palmyra, his body mutilated 
and his person robbed of some $800; that a farmer named 
Carter, living in an adjoining county, suspected of having 
given information which led to the arrest of a notorious 
bridge-burner and railroad destroyer, was shot in his own 
door-yard and in the presence of his wife and children ; that 
a Mr. Preston, living but a few miles from the same neighbor- 
hood, was taken off by a gang of these men, whom you seem 
desirous of recognizing as honorable belligerents, and mur- 
dered, leaving an amiable wife and four very interesting 
children to cry for vengeance upon the assassins of their 
father. A Mr. Pratt, living a few miles north of Palmyra, 
a very intelligent farmer, unfortunately an emigrant from 



APPENDIX 425 

Massaxshusetts, and a man of the very highest moral char- 
acter, but guilty of being an unswerving Union man, was 
murdered, leaving a widow and six children to mourn his loss. 
A Mr. Spires, an aged man, over seventy years, one of the 
oldest citizens of Shelby County, (adjoining the county of 
which Palmyra is tlie shire town), was taken from his house 
and hung, and his body mutilated. Other citizens of that 
county, anxi those of the highest standing, were taken out and 
hung until life was nearly extinct. A man named Spaight 
was taken out, stripped, and brutally whipped. A large body 
of these rebels went into the town of Canton, in Lewis County, 
a town not garrisoned, and murdered William Camegy, a 
leading merchant and universally respected, but tainted with 
the leprosy of loyalty. Porter, at the head of several thou- 
sand of these guerrillas, went into Memphis, also not 
garrisoned, seized a Dr. Aylward, the prominent Union man 
of that locality, and hung him, with a halter made of hickory 
bark, until he was dead. 

I could give you a long list of crimes, the most horrid 
committed by these scoundrels, that would make even fiends 
in hell shudder. Their robberies and devastations you, in 
New York, cannot ever conceive of; but when I say there 
were thousands upon thousands of these men ; that they had 
no money; that they subsisted whoUy by robbery, you may 
approximate toward an estimate ; and all this in a State that 
refused to secede from the Union, himdreds of miles inside 
of the Federal lines. General McNeil with a small force 
was pursuing them, not like the advance of a force in all the 
"pomp and circumstance of glorious war," but at the rate of 
forty-five miles per day, often camping at 10 p. m., and break- 
ing camp at 2 a. nu Finally, he caught them at Kirksville, 
and effectually crushed them, the guerrillas losing over seven 
hundred men, killed and wounded. The next day fifteen 
men, caught with arms in their hands, murder in their hearts, 
and the oath of allegiance to the United States Government 
in their pockets, were tried and shot. In the particular case 
of Andrew Allsman, he was a man upward of sixty years oi 
age, taken from his family and murdered. Of the ten men 
executed, one of them was one of the party who murdered 
Mr. Pratt, above alluded to. The other nine men were all 
caught with arms, and all of them had been once pardoned 



426 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

for their former treason by taking the oath of allegiance to 
the United States, and had deliberately perjured themselves 
by going out again — ^the very oath they took expressly stipu- 
lating that "death would be the penalty for a violation of this 
their solemn oath and parole of honor." Now, sir ; are such 
men entitled to the consideration of honorable warfare (as 
you seem to think in your criticism), or are they not rather 
to be treated as outlaws and beyond the pale of civilization, 
and, sir, living as we do in Missouri, in times of red revolu- 
tion, assassination, rapine, in violation of all laws, both human 
and divine, acts of justice necessarily assume the garb of 
severity, and the more severe to the criminal the more merci- 
ful to the community. And now, in view of the facts I have 
alluded to, publishing as you do a loyal paper in a loyal State, 
a thousand miles removed from the scenes of these outrages, 
can you unthinking join in the howl raised by the full-fledged 
and semi-traitoTS in our midst against such or any other acts 
that insure the punishment of treasons and traitors? 

Had one-half the severity practiced by the rebels on the 
Union men of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri been meted 
out in return to them, every trace of treason would ere this 
have been abolished from our land. Good cause have the 
rebels to grumble at that which blasts at once every prospect 
they might have had for ultimate success. What is war ? Is 
it anything but retaliation ? Must we allow our enemies, the 
enemies of liberty and republicanism, to outrage all the laws 
of war, and not take some steps to diow them the propriety 
of adhering to those laws? Emissaries from the rebellious 
States have come into our midst, forming several associations, 
swearing citizens of a State that would not secede from the 
Union not to respect any oath or obligation made to the Fed- 
eral Government. Men enjoying the disgrace of a commis- 
sion from the rebel government have traveled through our 
land, hundreds of miles inside of the Federal lines, swearing 
men, singly and in squads, by stealth and in secret, into the 
Confederate service, with instriictions to go home and wait 
until called on. These men, thus sworn in, continued day 
by day to pass themselves on us as loyal citizais, while by 
night they turned out and harassed their Union neighbors. 

Suppose officers from the Confederate Army should go 
through New York recruiting in the same manner, or suppose 



APPENDIX 427 

Federal officers in disguise shoiild visit Georgia and com- 
mence raising bodies of men, ostensibly for Government 
service, but in reality to create disturbance in the com- 
mtmity — to rob, murder, and destroy, what treatment would 
they receive ? Would shooting them or hanging them be con- 
sidered such a butchery ? Was Washington, when he signed 
the order for the execution of Major Andre, to be considered 
the original Haynau ? 

Mr. Editor, if you have been a witness to many scenes that 
attended General McNeil's visits to the various posts of his 
district, made but two weeks since, when he traversed the 
whole country on horseback, attended by but two orderlies, 
when old men would come out of their farm houses, shake 
hands with the general, call down blessings upon him, ask 
him to delay so that their wives could come out and thank him 
for executing justice, which had enabled them to come back 
once more to their homes, instead of indulging in editorials 
so harshly condemnatory of that which you do not understand, 
I think you would have fancied you had just perceived the 
principle which must prevail to crush this rebellion, and 
bring us back to our fast wasting prosperity. We here, in 
the West, have been forced to realize the horrors of revolu- 
tion. They have been forced on the loyal men of Missouri 
against their desires and in spite of the efforts of the Federal 
Government In addition, we think we are fighting a battle 
for the world, for humanity, for civilization, for religion, 
for the honor of our forefathers, for republics, a battle in 
which the welfare of the myriads of sons of men who are to 
come after us in every age and country is at stake. 

General McNeil has even in the early part of this terrible 
war been censured from headquarters for being too lenient 
toward the rebels. Time and experience proved to him that 
in order to save bloodshed it was necessary to show some ex- 
amples of severe punishment, and the result in giving security 
to persons and property of loyal men in our section has amply 
justified the steps taken by him. Do you suppose that a 
rebellion that in this late day has ventured to employ the 
scalping knife of the savage in its service, that commenced in 
fraud, that has sustained itself from the commencement by 
robbery, that has practiced extermination and banishment and 
confiscation toward citizens that ventured to remain true to 



428 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

their original allegiance, can be put down -without somebody 
being hurt ? Let me ask of you to do justice to a kind and 
brave oflScer, who has simply dared to do his duty and in 
doing so has obtained the thanks and deepest feelings of grati- 
tude from every loyal man in Northern Missouri. Suppose 
foreign journals dub him the American Haynau. Let the 
Govemmeat, out of regard for the feelings of a grateful 
people, emulate the example of Austria, who created Haynau 
a marshal of the Empire, and give toGreneral McNeil a division 
with permission to go down into Dixie and bid JelFerson 
Davis come and take him. Take my word for it, thousands 
upon thousands of the hardy sons of the West will flock to 
his standard, and treason upon the sunny plains of the South 
will find at last the scourge of God which it so well merits. 

This rebellion and its settlement belong exclusively to the 
American people. Governments that are based upon political 
principles opposed to our own cannot have the right of inter- 
ference that disinterestedness would give. The roarings of 
the British lion, his criticisms and his opinions, are, there- 
fore, alike immaterial. Nations in their political decisions 
and efforts are rarely governed by anything but their self- 
interest, no matter how loud they mouth about their virtues. 
And such articles as those in the London Times, Star and 
other English papers come with a bad grace from a Govern- 
ment that justified the lashing of Sepoys to the cannon's 
mouth and blowing their mangled bodies in fragments 
through the air — ^the outrages committed by those Sepoys not 
being one iota greater than those committed by the rebels in 
our land, with this difference : That the one was the work of 
ignorance and a religious fanaticism, performed by an enslaved 
and half-civilized race, while our rebels and murderers have 
claimed to be our brothers, are enlightened, enjoy the same 
rights and privileges that we have enjoyed, and in a day 
could, as it were, reinstate themselves and our whole countiy 
in the possession and enjoyment not only of peace and har- 
mony, but of all the rights, privileges, and independence that 
freemen can or should enjoy. These terrible "butcheries" 
(i. e., the just punishing of guerrillas, assassins, and violators 
of parole) have finally restored safety here. Since the public 
execution of the ten men at Palmyra not a murder nor a 
single personal outrage to a Union man has been committed 



APPENDIX 429 

in Northeastem Missouri, or since the rebels learned what 
■would be the price of a Union man's life, three months ago, 
for it is that time since ofHcial notice was served on them of 
■what ■would be done if AUsman was not returned to his home, 
and that the decimal system would be carried out for each 
loyal non-combatant that should subsequently be murdered 
by them, so long as guerrillas could be found in the district. 
"Verily a tree shall be known by its fruits." A wise punish- 
ment has once more enabled the dove of peace to hover over 
our households, unterrified. Guerrillas in this district found 
their vocation gone. Traitors began at last to recognize that 
the oath of loyalty meant something. They scattered for 
security through Illinois, and even there could not cease their 
career of crime. It was but yesterday liiat I delivered to the 
authorities of Pike County, Illinois, three young men raised 
in this county, and of very respectable (so far as wealth and 
intelligence goes), but not loyal, families, sworn members of 
Porter's guerrillas, who had been -with him in every action. 
When a proposition is made to them to murder an aged farmer 
who had generously extended to them the hospitalities of his 
house, they never shudder, show no indignation, but coolly 
proceed to commit a murder that for atrocity and horror can- 
not be exceeded throughout the annals of crime. You will, 
in the paper publishing this, see the confession of one of these 
three specimens of Southern chivalry. If the authorities of 
Illinois proceed to execute these three murderers, iu retalia- 
tion for the murder of Mr. Pearson, a ratio of three to one, 
■will it be cause for an indignant editorial against those 
authorities ? Say not, Mr. Editor, that the last case ■will be 
one of the civil law, for it occurs in Illinois. In Missouri 
those scoundrels that you object to having punished had by 
their conduct destroyed the last vestige of civil law. Martial 
law was the only protection citizens had, and by that law those 
men were publicly and la^wfully executed. For martial law 
in Missouri, see General Orders of this department. Read 
also the following : 

General Oedees No. 2, 
Headqtjaetees Depaetment of the Mississippi, 

St. Louis, March 3, 1862. 
III. E'vidence has been received at these headquarters 
that Maj. Gen. Sterling Price has issued commissions or 



430 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI . 

licenses to certain bandits in this State, authorizing them to 
raise guerrilla forces for the purpose of plunder and maraud- 
ing. General Price ought to know that such a course is 
contrary to the rules of civilized warfare, and that every man 
who enlists in such an organization forfeits his life, and be- 
comes an outlaw. All persons are hereby warned that if they 
join any guerrilla band, they will not, if captured, be treated 
as prisoners of war, but will be hung as robbers and mur- 
derers. Their lives shall atone for the barbarity of their 
general. 

By command of Major General Halleck: 

N. H. McLean, 
Assistant Adjutant Oeneral. 

Also see General Orders, K'os. 13 and 32, issued by Gen- 
eral Halleck, and General Schofield, of which the following 
is an extract : 

The Government is willing and can afford to be magnani- 
mous in its treatment of those who are tired of the rebellion, 
and desire to become loyal citizens and to aid in the restora- 
tion of peace and prosperity of the country; but it will not 
tolerate these who still persist in their wicked efforts to 
prevent the restoration of peace, where they have failed to 
maintain legitimate war. The time is passed when insur- 
rection and rebellion in Missouri can cloak itself under the 
guise of honorable warfare. The utmost vigilance and energy 
are enjoined upon all the troops of the State in hunting down 
and destroying these robbers and assassins. When caught in 
arms, engaged in this unlavsrful warfare, they will be shot 
doviTi upon the spot. 

In conclusion, Mr. Editor, if you are correct in your 
denunciations of what you term a "butchery," do not waste 
your anathemas upon General McNeil alone because he saw 
proper to teach traitors that the life of an unarmed non- 
combatant Union man, a loyal citizen of the United States, 
was a sacred thing — ^that murderers should not take it with 
impunity — ^but bestow some of it upon equally gallant and 
meritorious officers like General Merrill, who executed ten of 
those perjured scoundrels at Macon City, and General 
Schofield, who issued Orders No. 18, or General Halleck, 



APPENDIX 431 

whose orders touching bridge burners and guerrillas I had 
supposed until now even the editor of the Times approved of. 

Wm. R. Steaohan, 
Provost-Marshal, Palmyra. 

The Confederates of North Missouri were, as a class, 
remarkable for their indifference to danger, their fidelity to 
principle, to which life and property were esteemed only 
secondary, and their determination to give their all to the 
support of that principle in the face of apparently insur- 
moimtable difficulties, but if half of what Strachan said about 
them terrifying a majority of the population, protected by 
fifty thousand, or more, valiant, vigilant Federal soldiers, is 
true, the Confederates everywhere in that country, every day 
and hour, did deeds of reckless bravery of which no Mame- 
luke or Janizary, in the zenith of his power and the intensity 
of his religious fanaticism ever dreamed. The falsification 
of current political history was the least of Strachan's crimes. 
His like only comes on the earth at intervals of centuries. 

The following memorial, though couched in more moderate 
language, is no less a studied falsification of history. It was 
said to have originated at the suggestion of McNeil himself, 
and it was also said and commonly believed that many of the 
signers put iheir names to it very much against their own will. 
How much truth there is in eiliier statement I do not know. 
I have made every possible effort to get a list of the signers. 
For this purpose I wrote the following letter : 

Htattsville, Md., May 25, 1908. 
The Adjtjtant-Geweeai,^ 
War Department. 
SiE : My letter asking for a copy of the paper transmitted 
by General John McNeil, approving his execution of ten 
prisoners at Palmyra, Missouri, October 18, 1862, is returned 
to me with the endorsement that the paper is printed in 
Official Eecords, Series I, Volume 22, part 2, pages 3 to 5. 
I find that it was directed to President Lincoln, Januaiy 1, 
1863, and at the end the note: "Numerously signed by 
citizens of Marion, Lewis and Shelby Counties." I should 
very much like to have a copy of these signatures, for legiti- 



432 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

mate historical purposes — having now a work in preparation. 
If inconvenient for your clerical force to make desired copy, 
I ask the privilege of making a copy myseK. Colonel Kniffen, 
of the Pension Bureau has allowed a similar privilege on two 
recent occasions. 

Respectfully, 

Joseph A. Mttdd. 

This letter was returned with the following endorsement: 
Eespectfully returned to Mr. Joseph A. Mudd, Hyatts- 
ville, Maryland. 

Some years ago requests such as that made within for in- 
formation from the records for historical purposes became 
so numerous as to seriously interfere with the current work of 
the Department. On that accoimt and for other reasons as 
well, the Secretary of War was compelled to adopt a strict rule 
that all such requests be denied. Under the rules of the 
Department therefore, the request made within for a copy of 
the record desired cannot be complied with. Nor can it be 
permitted to anyone who is not an employee of the Depart- 
ment and subject to its control to have access to the official 
records. 

F. C. AiNSWOKTH, 

The Adjutant General. 

I made many efforts by correspondence to learn some of the 
names written under this memorial, but obtained only one. 
This was given me by Hon. .Tames T. Lloyd, Member of 
Congress from the First District if Missouri. This signer 
died a few days ago. He was the son of one of the most 
eminent and influential men in North Missouri, a resident of 
Palmyra, who served two terms in Congress before the war 
between the States and who was more responsible, perhaps, 
than any one man for the strong secession sentiment in the 
State. The son inherited the intellect and the graces of mind 
and person of the father, but all his attempts to obtain 
political office ended in mortifying failure. Some years after 
the war he tried for the endorsement of Marion County for 
nomination for the office of circuit judge, for which he was 
eminently fitted. His competitors were a member of my first 
company in the Confederate army, (the successful aspirant)> 



APPENDIX 433 

and a capable lawyer of Southern sentiment The signer 
failed to receive in his own precinct, or anywhere else, enough 
votes to give him a delegate in the county convention. The 
only reason was that his name was on the mBmorial that 
slandered his own people. I feel sure that his name was put 
there for reasons of personal safety. 

NoETHEEM- MissoTTEi, Jwrmmy 1, 186S. 
His Excellency, Abeaham Linoolit, 
President of the United States: 
Your memorialists, loyal citizens of the United States and 
of the State of Missouri, respectfully represent that since 
the outbreat of the present rebellion Northern Missouri, 
in common vnth the southern part of the State, has been 
infested by hordes of lawless depredators, popularly known as 
guerrillas, though styling themselves as "Confederate soldiers," 
led by desperate and unprincipled men, having not even the 
form of official commissions from the authorities of the 
so-called Confederate States, and whose modes of warfare 
have been only those resorted to and practiced by highway 
robbers, thieves, murderers and assassins. Not having from 
any source a recognition as belligerents, they have, neverthe- 
less, not scrupled to wage relentless war against the Govern- 
ment of the United States and of the State of Missouri, and 
against the peace, safety, and happiness of the loyal citizens 
of this State. In thus doing they have causelessly murdered 
non-combatants by hanging, by shooting, by cutting their 
throats, and by divers other cruel, inhuman and outrageous 
methods. They have fired into railroad trains, killing and 
maiming soldiers and citizens, and placing in imminent peril 
the lives of women and children. They have burned and 
destroyed railroad bridges, thereby causing trains filled with 
non-combatants to be precipitated into streams, killing, drown- 
ing, and wounding many persons, including women and 
children. They have, in the darkness of the night, smnmoned 
citizens to the doors of their dwellings and there shot them 
dead. They have deliberately, and without provocation, 
fired into dwellings, placing in extreme jeopardy the lives of 
innocent and helpless persons therein. They have abducted 
citizens from their dwellings and families and murdered them 

(28) 



434 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

secretly and by methods unknown to the community at large. 
They have practiced inhuman and diabolical cruelties upon 
persons in tibeir hands by brutally whipping them and hang- 
ing them until nearly dead. And all this has been done for 
no other reason than that the parties thus murdered and 
outraged ■were, and had been, true and faithful in their alli- 
ance to the United States. More than this, they have robbed 
the loyal citizens of IsTorthem Missouri of hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars' worth of property, taking in numerous 
instances the only horse from a needy and dependent family. 
They have stripped thousands of families of clothing, money, 
grain, cattle, wagons, arms, and ammunition, and, in short, 
of everythiag which their cupidity could lead them to covet 
or their wants to desire. Nor have these operations been 
confined to a few or remote localities. Every county, every 
community, has thus been scourged, until scarcely a loyal 
family has remained untouched. Thus these desperadoes 
desolated the whole land, establishing a reign of terror. 
Tinder this scourge many loyal citizens have fled from the 
State to preserve their lives; many have been forced to 
abandon their families and take refuge in the Federal army, 
and for weeks and months thousands have been nightly driven 
to the woods and fields to find shelter from the fury of these 
prowling fiends. 

Tour excellency will not, however, understand that all this 
time the United States and State Governments have been 
inactive in their efforts to crush out rebellion in this section 
of the State. Many thousand troops have occupied and held 
the various important points in Northern Missouri, and at 
no time have these guerrillas been able to withstand, in open 
conflict, by any combination of their forces, the regularly 
organized troops of the Government. But the character of 
their warfare and their intimacy with the topography of the 
country have been such that eighteen months' experience has 
demonstrated that organized troops, in however large bodies, 
simply holding isolated points, with ample power to control 
any given point, but governed only by the rules and methods 
of ordinary and regular warfare, could not check the outrages 
referred to, nor assure peace and safety to the loyal people. 
Experience long since convinced the military au^orities of 
this department that something more was necessary than the 



APPENDIX 435 

mere occupancy of the country by Federal troops and the 
dispersion of a^regated bands of marauders. Hence the 
orders of General HaUeck and Schofield, the point of which 
was that all guerrillas taken in arms should be shot. Had 
these orders in every instance been strictly carried out, it 
cannot be doubted that the effect would have been most happy. 
But too many such persons fell into the hands of our military 
authorities, who lacked the nerve to administer the required 
penalty. The result was thousands of these desperadoes were 
released on parole and bond ; the country was again overrun 
by them, and their riterated acts of brigandism were none 
the less violent or atrocious that they involved the additional 
crime of perjury. Oaths and bonds imposed no restraint 
upon such persons, whose demoniac passions now burned with 
a new and doubly-heated flame. 

It was in these dark days, when this whole section was in 
terror and dismay at the unchecked and apparently uncon- 
trollable outrages of these men, that Brig. Gen. John MclTeil, 
Missouri State Militia, commanding the Division of !North- 
eastem Missouri, caused ten of these persons, all of whom 
had been, and at the time of their capture were, participants 
in the outrages of the general nature recited, to be publicly 
executed at Palmyra, in this State. The immediate occasion 
for this execution was the abduction and undoubted murder 
by these men, or their associates in crime, of one Andrew Alls- 
man, a loyal citizen of Palmyra, a non-combatant, a man 
respectable in character and advanced in years. It was not, 
however, simply to avenge his death that ten criminals were 
executed. It was, additionally, to vindicate the power and 
authority of the law and of the Government ; to strike terror 
into the hearts of those whom no sentiments of right, honor, 
or justice could reach. It was to give safety and peace to 
this distracted country, and to assure the now almost incredu- 
lous people that the Government was not utterly powerless for 
their protection. It was a stroke absolutely essential to teach 
traitors that they could not, and should not, with impunity, 
outrage the rights and sacrifice the happiness and safety of 
whole communities. The act has achieved its desired pur- 
pose. The law and the supremacy of our Govenmient are 
vindicated. Citizens return in peace and safety to their 
homes. They are no longer assassinated at pleasure by 
lawless ruffians. They feel that in truth they have a Gov- 



436 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

ermnent, and that that Govemment is, indeed, able and 
•willing to cover them with its protecting shield. 

Your memorialists have observed -with many apprehensions 
the demand made by Jefferson Davis, President of the so- 
called Confederate States, for the delivery <xE General McNeil 
to the Confederate authorities. We therefore adopt this method 
and take this occasion of laying before you a representation 
of the condition and experience of Missouri during the 
progress of this rebellion, believing this only necessary to 
convince Your Excellency that the act of General McN^eil in 
the premises was not only in accordance with the spirit of the 
General Orders then and now in force in this department, but 
that it was the only measure which could restore peace and 
assure safety to the loyal citizens of Korthem Missouri. In 
view of all the facts, therefore, your memorialists most 
heartily approve of the act of General McNeil as specified, 
and do hereby earnestly entreat the Government of the United 
States not to surrender that officer to those demanding him, 
but to approve and sustain his act in the premises, belieiving 
that in so doing he not only had in view and subserved the 
high and sacred interests of our whole country^ but also 
showed himself to be a good soldier and a true and humane 
patriot. 

Expressing the highest confidence in your administration, 
and the sinoerest wish that the blessings of Heaven may attend 
your efforts to restore our country to a condition of perfect 
unity, peace and prosperity, and assuring you that all our 
influence is given you in your endeavors to achieve such a 
glorious consummation, we remain, your loyal fellow-citizens. 

(Numerously Signed by citizens of Clarke, Lewis and 
Shelby Coimtiee.) 



T 
AFFAIR AT PORTLAND, MO. 

Report of Surg. John E. Bruere, First Battalion Missouri 
Cavalry (Militia). 

Fulton, Mo., October 17, 1862. 

Sib: Although I suppose you have already received in- 
formation in regard to the crossing of Porter's rebel gang at 



APPENDIX 437 

Portlaiid by the officers on board the steamboat Emilie, I 
lihink it my duty to notify you myself of it directly, as I had 
been trusted witiii the command of that portion of our battalion 
(one hundred and twenty men), which succeeded at least in 
preventing him from making his second trip across. 

We had started here at 5 o'clock yesterday morning in 
search of a camp on the Auxvasse, but after four hours' dili- 
gent traveling and brushing, I was convinced that no gang of 
any size was on this creek any more, but that they had all 
gone in the direction of Portland. Their tracks became so 
thick on every road and by-road that I had no doubt in my 
mind that they had passed in the direction of Portland in 
very large numbers. I therefore followed them as fast as 
possible, examining as I went along every brush very care^ 
fully. People living along the road had all seen them or 
heard of them going down constantly for the last eighteen 
hours, and the closer we got to Portland the larger would they 
estimate their number. About seven miles this side of Port- 
land, near Jackson's Mill, on the Fulton and Portland road, 
we first met their pickets, watching the road. They had 
seen us before we saw them, but we shot one of them from his 
horse, while the balance went at full speed in several direc- 
tions, one part of them going toward Portland, others fleeing 
to the left. I divided my men, following both parties. 
Those on the left were chased by me for at least two miles, 
when I lost them in the thicket. Those going toward the 
river were pursued by seventy-five of our men, but got to town 
far ahead of us. The officer in command did not know if I 
was still willing to foUow them up, and awaited my arrival 
one mile this side of the town. I only caught up with them 
after the lapse of half an hour and pushed right off. A loyal 
farmer, living near, had seen them all pass by, and warned 
me not to go on, as I had too small a force to accomplish any- 
thing, they being, as he said, four hundred to four hundred 
and fifty strong. I hurried on, however, but unfortunately 
arrived just soon enough to see the boat on the other side. In 
town I met thirty-five or forty whom I attacked and drove up 
the river, killing four of them ; the rest escaped. 

Later reports by my men increase the dead to seven. I 
only saw three myself ; the rest were reported to me. I could 
not follow them up very far, and would not do it, because I 
wanted to make sure of the boat. After she got through 



438 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

unloading, which was abont half an hour after our arrival, I 
saw her go down the channel. I went after her right off, 
because she had been on her way up the river, and I therefore 
distrusted her and hoped to stop her in the bend below. Just 
as I reached the lower edge of the town I met ten bush- 
whackers coming leisurely toward me, and one of them told 
me they wanted to give themselves up. I was intending to 
take them, when all at once they tiimed toward the brush, 
only one of them falling in our hands. I pursued them, but 
very soon lost their tracks in the brush, as I could not trace 
them, on account of the abundance of foot-prints in every 
direction. 

On reaching the river I saw the boat on the opposite side 
again just trying to come toward town. I therefore returned 
to town, waiting for her to come up. Captain Labarge 
addressed me, asking me not to shoot, as there were no armed 
men aboard. On examining into the case I found that he had 
been forced to stop by a squad of rebels lying in ambush 
behind a wool-pile, he having landed to set two paasengets 
out They made him unload his deck freight and put one 
hundred and sixty or one hundred and seventy-five horses on, 
and then he had to go across with an equal number of men. 
From the testimony given by the passengers, among whom is 
the adjutant of the Eighteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, I had 
no reason to suppose that the captain had a previous under- 
standing with Porter, but only blame him for crossing these 
last ten back again, as he had force enough in deck hands on 
his boat to resist them even with their arms. After he had 
come to this side he could have come to us, for he must have 
known that we were Federals and would protect him if he 
was innocent From what I heard those on the boat say, 
these ten whom we met were sent across to reconnoiter and 
tiy to find their own men, so as to bring them down to the 
boat in order to cross below. They even mistook us for 
friends, and did not see their mistake until they had come 
within gun-shot range; but just where we saw them the 
road makes a turn around a house, whereby they were pro- 
tected from our guns and made good their escape. If the 
captain did not know of Porter's intentions before he cer- 
tainly cannot have had very great objections to helping them 
over. I therefore ordered him to report to you forthwith on 
his arrival at Jefferson City, and charged said adjutant also 



APPENDIX 439 

to give you a minute statement of the occurrence. I did not 
make any arrests on the boat, because I thought you would do 
so if you thought proper, and the boat herself is bond enough 
that he will obey my orders, which T suppose he has already 
done by this time. 

Porter himself has probably not croesed yet. The force 
he had left on this side at Portland scattered for the time 
being, but has since probably collected again, for the Mexico 
mail-carrier reports a force of aboxit two hundred going north- 
ward, whom he met near Concord. We did not get through 
about Portland until near dark, and could therefore do 
nothing more. I had strict orders to be back the same even- 
ing, and therefore marched back here, which made nearly 
fifty-five miles traveled during the day, without taking time 
to feed. I had to give the horses rest today, and as the colonel 
is sick, and being unable to ride for a day or two on account 
of a fall from my horse, I cannot tell how soon we will be 
able to go after them again. 

I judge that Porter had about three hundred or three 
hundred and fifty men in Portland ready to cross. One 
hundred and sixty or one hundred and seventy-five did cross ; 
the rest are on tiiis side yet. Those who went over, I am 
told, intended to tear up the railroad track and cut the tele- 
graph wires, so as to keep you from getting on them quick. 

Hoping that you will be able yet to follow those who have 
crossed, I remain, respectfully, your obedient servant, 

John E. Bruebe, 
Surgeon, First Battalion of Cavalry, Missouri State Militia. 

Generai, Loan^ 

Commanding, Jefferson City, Mo. 

u 

SKIRMISH AT CALIFORNIA HOUSE. MO. 

Report of Cbl. Albert Sigel, Thirteenth Missouri Cavalry 
(Militia). 

Waynesville, Mo., Oct. 18, 1862. 

Colonel: In compliance with your dispatch, received 
last evening, that two hundred rebels had crossed the Missouri 
at Portland the night before and tried to make their way 
south, I thought it best to let them come near out post, so as 
to be able to intercept them whenever they tried to cross our 



440 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

line. I therefore ordered Captain Murphy, after midnight, 
with portions of four companies, numbering seventy-five men, 
toward the Gasconade, while I had another force of about one 
hundred men ready to throw^ on them whenever I could get 
information where they intended to cross. 

At about 10 o'clock this morning I received a report that 
Captain Murphy had not only found their trace, but was in 
hot pursuit of them. It was also reported that they had 
turned southwest, and it was now certain to me that they 
would cross our line seven miles west from here, near the 
California House. I immediately started there with the 
force already mentioned, and we were scarcely ten minutes 
near the California House when they drove in our advance 
guard, under Lieutenant Muller, of Company A, who fell 
back and brought them into the line of Lieutenant Brown, of 
Company F, whose men were dismounted. We now pitched 
into them from all sides and in a few minutes they ran for 
their lives. Captain Murphy was also nearly up at that time, 
and drove a portion of them before him, scattering them in 
all directions. 

The estimate of the rebels killed is twenty, among them 
Lieutenant Tipton, and as many are wounded. We captured 
a secesh flag, two roll-books, some horses, and some shot-guns 
and Austrian rifles ; made three prisoners, and liberated two 
Union men, whom they had prisoners. We had only one 
man slightly wounded. I ordered the secesh population of the 
neighborhood to bury the dead and to care for the wounded 
rebels. 

The rebels were well armed and equipped, two hundred and 
fifty to three hundred strong. They were commanded by 
Captain Ely, Captain Brooks, and two captains, both with the 
name of Creggs, and were a part of Colonel Porter's com- 
mand, who did not cross the Missouri with them, but promised 
to follow them with a larger force. 

All our oificers and men behaved well. Captain Smith 
(Company H) has not yet, at 8 :30 p. m., come back from 
pursuing the rebels. 

I remain, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Albert Sigbl, 

Colonel, Comdg. Thirteenth Regiment Cavalry, Mo. 8.M. 

CoLoioa. Glovee, 

Commanding District, Rolla, Mo. 



APPENDIX 441 

V 

THE BURNING OF HOUSES 

Gteneral Merrill was not a very tender-hearted man, yet he 
felt constrained to issue the following "Circular letter to all 
Commanding Officers : 

"Hbadqtjaeters Noetheast Missotjei Disteiot, 

"Macon City, Mo., September 27, 1862. 

"GENTLEMEiiT : The general has learned with surprise and 
r^ret of many instances in which houses have been burned 
and other property wantonly destroyed by the troops in this 
division. This is not only entirely unauthorized, but has been 
over and over again positively prohibited. In at least several 
of the cases reported the grossest injustice was committed upon 
innocent persons, and several poor families have been left 
houseless and dependent, when a very slight investigation, 
would have shown that there waa no possible ground for doing 
the burning. The laws of war, as well as common humanity, 
forbid the devastation of a country except in extreme cases; 
and the necessity for an act for which the commanding gen- 
eral is held responsible cannot be left to the discretion of any 
subordinate who may think such a measure necessary. 

"In some few instances in which this has been done it was 
not only necessary but right that it should have been done, 
but the practice is becoming common to bum and destroy 
without limitation or common discretion, and it must be 
promptly stopped. 

"If it is necessary that a house which is the resort and pro- 
tection of guerrilla bands should be destroyed, a report of 
the facts will be made to these headquarters, and if the neces- 
sity really exists it may be done by proper authority, and 
the troops not disgraced by the excesses which on several 
occasions have marked such conduct. 

"Your attention is again and for tie last time called to the 
unauthorized taking of private property by officers and 
soldiers of this command. In many cases private houses have 
been entered by soldiers not acting imder authority of an 
officer and articles taken for which there was no shadow of 
authority. Besides the gross outrage thus comrtiitted, the 



442 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

effect upon the troops has been the worst possible. It 
demoralizes them and entirely destroys discipline. Such 
conduct is the direct result of officers permitting a violation 
of the order against straggling and entering private houses. 

"This order Toast be strictly enforced. No officer or soldier 
can be allowed on the march to leave his ranks or colors 
without the direct permission of the commanding officer of 
the column, and then only on the most urgent necessity. In 
camp the men and officers must remain in their camp, except 
expressly permitted by the commanding officer to leave it 
Under no circumstances will a soldier be permitted to enter 
a private house except upon duty and by order of the officer 
or non-cp'mmissioned officer in charge of the party, who will 
be held to a strict responsibility for any impropriety 
committed. 

"I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"Geo. M. Houston, 
"Major and Assistant Adjutard-Generai," 



w 

A LOOK BACK 

Joseph A. Mudd, of Hyattsville, Md., wrote a letter to the 
Sun on February 24, which appeared in that paper on March 
17, and which is not devoid of interest to artists or to poli- 
ticians. It is about the late George C. Binghann, a painter, 
a soldier, and a statesman, and at one time a celebrity. Mr. 
Mudd correctly says that Bingham was bom in Virginia on 
March 20, 1811, went to Missouri in 1819, began the study 
of art without special intention and attained a distinction for 
products of his brush which was not confined to his own 
country. Of some of his paintings the engraved reproduction 
had wider circulation than in like form was given to those 
of any of his contemporaries. Among them were, "The 
Jolly riatboatman," "Stump Speaking," "Country Election," 
"News of the War," from Mexico, "Results of the Election," 
etc. As an artist he was received with honor in London, 
Paris and Berlin, but not thinking that his preparation was 



APPENDIX 443 

ever complete he devoted some years to study of the best 
methods of Dusseldorf. 

The letter of Mr. Mudd further narrates that Mr. Bing- 
ham, in the war between the States, took the side of the North. 
He entered the Union army at the beginning of the struggle 
and did good service till he was appointed treasurer of 
Missouri by Governor Gamble, whose administration, as well 
as the interests and claims of national authority, he ably 
assisted. It is at this point in Mr. Mudd's letter that an 
interesting statement occurs. It is to the effect that Gen- 
eral Bingham painted perhaps his most famous picture, 
entitled, "Order Ko. 11," during the war. That was the 
number of an order issued August 25, 1863, by the late 
General Thomas Ewing. The intention was by it to clear a 
series of counties in Missouri, bordering on Kansas, of all 
inhabitants whatever, not concentrating them, as the military 
habit now is, elsewhere, but compelling all the inhabitants 
to seek habitation where they pleased, or as they might, out- 
side of the proclaimed counties. Those counties were the 
scene of guerrilla hostilities, and worse, both by Federal and 
Confederate ruffians, and Swing's plan comprehended their 
absolute depopulation, with the destruction and desolation 
which that involved. While the order was in process of 
execution it was countermanded from Washington, but 
during the process of its execution the misery it inflicted so 
outraged the soul of Artist Bingham that he painted a large 
picture descriptive of it, which Missouri subsequently pur- 
chased for the State capitol, where it is now, we believe, 
suspended, engravings of it being bought in great numbers, 
alike by art lovers and war partisans throughout the country. 
General Bingham was subsequently adjutant-general of 
Missouri and died at an advanced age in Kansas City a few 
years ago. 

Mr. Mudd, for want of knowledge, was unable to complete 
the political history, so to speak, of the picture known as 
"Order No. 11." The culmination of it was reached in the 
Democratic national convention, which began its session in 
Tammany Hall on July 4, 1868. The military order, which 
the picture pilloried to an immortality of reproach, was as 
drastic and absolute in its wording as the picture itself was in 
its terrific realism. At that convention Thomas Ewing, who 
had become a Democrat, and whose residence was Ohio, was 



444 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

slated for nomination for Vice President, and had secured 
enough delegates to command the nomination- But when 
on Horatio Seymour was precipitated an unwilling nomina- 
tion for the first place, the convention adjourned from noon 
until 3 p. m. to bring pressure on him to make him recall his 
refusal to accept the nomination. 

In that interim Montgomery Blair, who wanted the 
nomination for his brother, Frank P. Blair, Jr., on the 
instigation of a New York newspaper man, who was bom in 
Missouri, got a job printer, in Ann Street, to strike off a 
large number of copies of "Order No. 11," signed "Thomas 
Ewing," and had them distributed by boys to the del^ates 
to the convention on its reassembling in Tammany Hall. 
The result was the immediate destruction of Ewing's chances 
for the second place, and General Frank P. Blair, Jr., was 
made the nominee of the convention for Vice President. 
More sudden and more effective work of demolition before or 
since in politics can hardly be found. 

General Bingham was well known by representative Brook- 
lynites through visits which he made here to his brother-in- 
law, the late Dr. Joseph C. Hutchinson. He was a man of 
reserve, integrity, courtesy and scholarship, as well as of 
esthetic culture and genius, a statesman and a soldier, as well 
as an artist, an earnest patriot and lover of the Union as well 
as a man of devotion to the welfare of Missouri, a man of 
sympathy with humanity, who held the abuses of arbitrary 
power in mental abhorrence. The engravings of his earlier 
pictures had a world-wide diffusion and his hold on the affec- 
tion and admiration of Missouri is still almost as great as 
that of Thomas H. Benton or James S. Eollins, both of whom 
were his admirers and friends. — ^Brooklyn Eagle, March 19, 
1901, edited by St. Clair McKelway, a native of Goltunbia, 
Missouri. . 



X 

THE IMMORTAL SIX HUNDRED 

General Foster confined six hundred Confederate officers 
for several months in Charleston Harbor under Confederate 
fire. He was ordered to do it by higher authority, and it 



APPENDIX 445 

may be that the doling out of starvation rations, of such 
quality that only a starving man would eat, was done by order 
given him, but he mercilessly, and with infinite gusto carried 
out the prc^am. Major McDowell Canington, of my 
camp, was one of the six hundred. The Miaeourians were 
Captains Peter Ake, Ironton; M. J. Bradford, EoUa; J. G. 
Kelly, St Louis; S. Love, Independence; Lieutenants A, M. 
Bedford, Savannah; Peter J, Benson, Cassville; William 
Halliburton, Salem, and George C. Brand, Boonville. 

For a history of this affair and the names of the officers so 
confined see "The Immortal Six Hundred," by Major J. 
Ogden Murray. 

General W. C. Gates, in his book, "Th% War Between the 
Union and the Confederacy," page 398, makes a peculiar ref- 
erence to General Foster in connection with the Confederate 
General, D. H. Hill. 



Y 
THE ILLUSTRATIONS 

Many of the portraits illustrating this volume are repro- 
duced from photographs or tintypes taken from forty-five to 
fifty-five years ago. The tintype of Captain Penny was made 
in 1854; that of Mrs. Cox and her daughter, Virginia, in 
1861. The group of five of the six survivors of Captain 
Penny's company has the date when each photograph was 
made. Mine was done in Richmond by Vannerson, at that 
time considered the best artist in the Confederate OapitaL 
1 paid sixty dollars for three copies, card size, and, like all 
vain youths, kept the poorest. The sixth survivor, Thomas 
Martin Eobey, with whom I could not get into communication, 
was recently living at Senath, Dxmklin County, Missouri. 
The group of four. Minor, Lovelace, Johnson and Wrenn, is 
from a picture made in 1863. Sam Minor is still living. 
James Lovelace died several years ago. Nicholas Johnson 
was a member of Captain Penn's company when it captured 
a steamboat at Clarksville on the Mississippi River ; he was 
shortly afterwards captured, taken to Ashley and shot 
Charles Wrenn was killed in the battle of Corinth, Missis- 
sippi. Johnson and Wreim were from Lincoln County, in the 



446 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

neighborhood of Louisville. The portraits of Colonel Mc- 
Oullough and Captain Porter are from poor photograjAs, 
made in the woods in the early part of 1862. Colonel Mc- 
Cullough's is a poor likeness ; Captain Porter's a fair likeness. 
Miss Lucy Young's portrait is from a photograph taken in 
1878, eleven years after she and Miss Sue Johnson ran into 
the hail of bullets to cheer us at Florida ; that of Mrs. White 
is from a recent photograph, and it closely resembles her 
father, Colonel Porter, as I remember him. Davis White- 
side's picture is from a negative taken a few years before 
the war. 

The group of five officers of Merrill Horse is from photo- 
graphs taken from 1861 to 1863. Colonel Merrill was 
graduated at West Point in 1855, standing number twenty in 
his class. He was commissioned colonel of the Second Mis- 
souri Cavalry Regiment August 23, 1861 ; promoted to briga- 
dier general in tiie Missouri enrolled militia, but after a few 
months orejoined his regiment. He was made brigadier of 
United States Volunteers March 13, 1865 ; major in the 
regular army November 27, 1868 ; lieutenant-colonel January 
9, 1886; brevet brigadier-general February 27, 1890. He 
was bom at New Berlin, Pennsylvania, October 24, 1834; 
died at Philadelphia February 27, 1896. In the early part 
of 1863 Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer had a difficulty with 
Colonel Merrill and challenged him. No duel was fougjht; 
Shaffer resigned and dopper was promoted. Major Hunt 
then resigned and went home tp Cincinnati. The next year 
there was a difficidty between Merrill and Clopper and the 
latter resigned; thereupon Hunt rejoined the raiment as 
lieutenant-colonel. Merrill and Hunt were very competent 
officers. Lieutenant George H. Rowell was promoted to the 
captaincy October 15, 1863. His record in the army was a 
very creditable one. Lieutenant Gregory, an excellent man 
and a good officer, was so severely wounded in our first battle 
with his battalion that his physical efficiency has ever since 
been impaired. 

The portraits of Colonel Guitar and Major Caldwell are 
from steel engravings. Odon Guitar was a good soldier and 
a very estimable man. He was born in Richmond, Kentucky, 
in 1825, and came with his father to Columbia, Missouri, in 
1829. He was a private in Doniphan's famous regiment 
during the war with Mexico. He recruited the Ninth Mis- 



APPENDIX 447 

pouri Cavalry and became its colonel. For his service in the 
field in the summer of 1862 he was commissioned, June 27, 
1863, brigadier-general by Governor Gamble. He believed 
in honorable warfare. He was a Whig before the war, but 
as a protest against the inhuman manner in which the war was 
generally waged in Missouri, he became the Democratic nomi- 
nee for Congress in 1864, resigning his commission August 
31, of that year. Few being then allowed to vote, he was 
defeated by Colonel G^eorge W. Anderson, of Pike County. 
After the war he married the youngest daughter of Abiel 
Leonard, of Howard County, one of the most eminent lawyers 
in the history of Missouri. Greneral Guitar died in 1907. 

Major Henry Clay Caldwell was bom in Marshall County, 
Virginia — ^now West Virginia — December 4, 1832, and was 
brought to Iowa by his father in 1836. He represented Van 
Buren County in the legislature of Iowa in 1860. He took 
a prominent position and had for his principal opponent on 
the floor Thomas W. Clagett, one of the brightest men in the 
State in that day, a native of the county in which I now 
reside, and whose grandson is my near neighbor. Major 
Caldwell entered the Third Iowa Cavalry in 1861. He was 
soon promoted to be major and later to lieutenant-colonel. 
For efficient service he was about to be made brigadier-general, 
but was appointed June 20, 1864, judge of the United States 
District Court of Arkansas. In 1890 he was appointed United 
States judge for the Eighth Circuit. He resigned in 1903 
and now lives at Los Angeles, California. There have been 
great judges and good judges. Judge Caldwell was both. 
There have been many greater men than he on the bench, 
but there never was a better one; "Do right" was his rule of 
conduct and from it he never deviated. 



z 

ADDITIONAL NAMES 

Comrade John Martindale, Clyde, Nodaway County, sends 
names of all his company that he can remember. Captain 
BiU Dunn, First Lieutenant Jack Baxter, Second Lieutenants 



448 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Nels Mattpin and KiaJi Smallwood, Third Lieutenant Thomas 
Green, Privates Ike Smoot, George Smoot, Bill Standifer, 
Henry !Martin, J. W. Seamster, Steve Seamster, Frank Peak, 
Murphy Peak, George Fogleaang, Joe Downing, H. Jarvia, 
Mike McCullough, Joe McOuHou^, Kemp George, H. Lile, 
Frank Hays, Bud Carson, Jim Pirtle, Ellis Pickering, Mark 
Phillips, Frank I^eely, Zaek Baxter, Jim Crawford, Bill 
Crawford, H. Marlow, Bob Bowen, Joe Moore, Jim Cox, Ed. 
Cox, Sevier Tadlock, H. Tadlock, Erve Vamer, John Mar- 
tindale, Wm. Mxrtindale, Luke Piper, Joe Webster, Billy 
Johnson, Bill Protsman, Bob Dingle, Tom Cleton, BiU 
Witten, Curt Cleton, L. Sallee, Wm. Meek, Tom Hulen, E. 
Lake, Jay Hobbs, Ed. Jones, Owen Williams, Jack Roberts, 
Bill Fawsett, Dick Harris, Wm. Dawkins, Bill Matthews, 
Billy Eeed, Bill Gibson, Hi Colvin. 

Comrade A. J. Austin, Goes, Monroe County, sends names 
of Porter's men : Isaac Greening and Joseph Smith, Florida ; 
Joseph Adams and Eeuben TiUett, Paris ; Robert Bush, Santa 
Fe; James Adams, HoUiday, Thomas TeweU, Clapper, aU 
of Monroe County; Henry Priest, New London, Balls 
County; Jack Higginfi, Barry, Illinois; T. B. Shearman, 
Fresno, California; James Tillett, John Tillett and Thomas 
Woodson, addresses unknown, and the following, deceased: 
Captain Worden Wills, First Lieutenant David Davenport, 
Second Lieutenant R. H. M. Austin; Privates R. D. W. 
Austin, killed at Newark; William Adams, William Ashby, 
Thomas Burnett, William Burnett, John Bush, Hart Carroll, 
Robert Freeman, William Freeman, Cliff Gosney, Nace Goe- 
ney, James Greening, Alexander Smith, Henry Smith and 
David Steela 

Joseph Lee Bomar, Vinita, Oklahoma, says his father, of 
near Moore's Mill, served under Porter. 

James B. Mcintosh, of Stephenville, Texas, formerly of 
Lincoln County, Missouri, who entered the six months' State 
service and re-enlisted in the Confederate army, but was dis- 
charged on account of health, says his cousin John H. Mc- 
intosh, of Lincoln County, served under Porter and was in 
all the battles in North Missouri, acting frequently as a con- 
fidential scout. He died near Dallas, Texas, several years 
ago. 

The History of Shelby County, in addition to the names 



APPENDIX 449 

of Porter's men mentioned in extracts credited to it, gives 
as from that county Greorge W. Boyce, Lentner; Captain 
Robert T. Sparks, his brother, Samuel A. Sparks, and Wil- 
liam T. Dobyns, of Shelbina ; Captain Marion H. Marmaduke, 
of ShelbyviUe, who fired the first gun at Kirksville ; John B. 
Settle, of Shelbina, who "reared on the farmed, remained at 
home until the second year of the war, when he joined 
Colonel Porter's regiment in the Southern service. He was 
a cripple when he went into the service and had been for a 
long time before, having a white swelling on his knee as large 
as a half-gallon measure, which had been pronounced by the 
physicians as incurable. Remarkable to say, however, the 
hardships and exposures to which he was subjected in the 
service, for everybody knows Porter's men were in the saddle 
almost day and night, instead of aggravating his malady, 
seemed to remove it, for he became sound and well in a short 
time and has never been troubled with it since." After 
Kirksville he served under the Kentucky generals Morgan 
and Williams until the close of the war. "He was at Colum- 
bia, South Carolina, when Sherman took possession of that 
place and was a personal witness to the burning of General 
Wade Hampton's residence by Sherman's soldiers." 

Mrs. H. T. Anderson, Vinita, Oklahoma, says her brother, 
Henry McDale, who died May, 1906, at Colony, Knox 
County, Missouri, served under Porter and managed Moore's 
Mill for supplies while in our possession. 

Mrs. James A. McAtee, Hunnewell, Shelby County, whose 
husband is a younger brother of one of the survivors of 
Captain Penny's company, says her two brothers, Raymond 
and Thomas Shearer, of Monroe County, were with Porter 
and that Raymond was killed at Newark. 

Comrade W. B. Callis says that W. S. Overfelt, of Dun- 
can's Bridge; G. P. Grimes, I. "N. Turner, Sr., J. R. Cxtrry 
and himself, of Madison, all of Monroe County, served under 
Porter. 

Comrade B. O. Wood writes that J. R. Carrico, D. M. Ely, 
J. Nelson Harris, Joseph Hayes, R, F. Parsons, Thomas J. 
Yates, and himself, of Monroe City; S. J. Armstrong, of 
Paris; Thomas B. Broughton, Jennings, Louisiana; Marion 
Lewallen, West Plains, Howell Country ; A. G. Lyle, Warren, 
Marion Coimiy; John Lyon, Stoutsville, Monroe County; 

(29) 



450 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

James E. McLoud, Haanibal; H. S. Pike, Anabel, Maoon 
County ; F. B. Shearman, Fresno, California, and Charles S. 
Wood, Shelbyville, served under Porter ; that they all loved 
Colonel Joe, and that he has a very distinct recollection of his 
looks and general appearance to this day. 



AA 
ACXNOWLEDGMENTS 

The survivors of Porter's men here named have given me 
valuable information used in the preparation of this narra- 
tive: Hugh Thomas Anderson, Vinita, Oklahoma; A. J. 
Austin, Gose, Monroe County ; Jerry Baker, Fresno, Califor- 
nia; J. K. Baker, Clarence, Shelby County, George Madison 
Botkins, Madison, Monroe County; William M. Cadwell, 
Shelbyville; Charles A. Crump, Santa Fe, Monroe County; 
J, D. Dowell, Paris, Monroe Oounly ; W. Sw DoweU, Moline, 
Audrain County; W. A. Evermann, Greenville, Mississippi; 
J. R, Ford, Butler, Bates County ; Albert O. Gerry, Lakenan, 
Shelby County; H. M. Gbss, Florida, Monroe County; Ben 
Green, Santa Fe, Monroe Comity; Isaac Greening, Florida, 
Monroe County ; W. Sw Griffith, Butler, Bates County ; Joseph 
'N. Haley, Jakin, Georgia; C. H. Hance, Los Angeles, CaJi- 
fomia; W. C. Harrison, Fulton, Callaway County, & J. 
Helm, Guthrie, Callaway County; Perry Jackson, Clarence, 
Shelby County ; S. F. Jett, Edgewood, Pike County, Andrew 
lichliter. Cherry Box, Shelby County; W. H. McAllister, 
Nelson, Saline County; Frank X. McAtee, Portland, Oregon; 
Dr. W. W. Macfarlane, Me^co, Audrain County; Ez^el 
Bryan McGee, Paris, Monroe County; James B. Mcintosh, 
StephenviUe, Texas; John Martindale, Clyde, Nodaway 
County; J. H. Maupin, Maud, Shelby County; Samuel O. 
Minor, Eblia, Pike County; E. P. Noel, Clarence, Shelby 
County; R. F. Parsons, Monroe City; T. J. Pettitt, Perry, 
Ralls County; Captain R. K. Phillips, Perry, Ralls County; 
A. W. Rogers, Urich, Henry County; Benjamin See, Kirks- 
ville, Adair County; J. Sexton, Ames, Iowa; S. L. Sisson, 
Frankford, Pike County; S. 0. "Smoot, Bethel, Shelby 



APPENDIX 451 

Coimly; James R. South, High Hill, Montgomery County; 
E. L. Stone, Kirksville, Adair County ; J. B. Threlheld, Shel- 
bina, Shelby County ; C. C. Turner, presiding justice, Boone 
County Court; J. F. Wallace, Oakland, California; J. R. 
Wine, Townsend, Montana; J. W. Young, Stoutsville, 
Monroe County. 

Comrade Sexton, who was the first to answer my notice in 
the Confederate Veteran, joined Porter the day aiter 
Moore's Mill battle as a member of Captain Ely's company, 
and he says Enoch Dermis was first lieutenant; was at 
Newark, Kirksville, Chariton Eiver and several skirmishes 
and afterwards as a member of company H, Fifth Missouri, 
was at Champion HiU, Big Black and Vicksburg. 

Comrade Goss sends picture of house where Mark Twain 
was bom, in the village of Florida, and notes direction and 
distance from our position in the engagement. 

Comrade Perry Jackson says he is as strong a rebel as ever. 
Well, every Missouri Confederate has kept the faith, espe- 
cially those who^ as Comrade Joseph A. Edmonds, of Lexing- 
ton, puts it, "followed grand old Joe Porter." Comrade 
Edmonds did efficient work as organizer and drillmaster. 

Comrade Pettitt joined a few days after the Moore's Mill 
battle, crossed the Missouri River with Colonel Porter and 
after his death served in Colonel Caleb Dorsey's regiment. 

Comrade Smoot attended Colonel Porter when dying of his 
wounds. His father taught school nine miles north of 
Palmyra, where Colonel Porter and Captain Porter were 
pupils. 

Of those who fought us, Captain George H. Eowell and 
Lieutenant Jasper L. Gregory, Battle Creek, Michigan; 
Captain James E. Mason, Athens, Michigan ; Sergeant Wil- 
liam Bouton, St Louis ; D. G. Harrington, Bennett, Colorado, 
and J. R. Baker, of Merrill Horse; Captain B. F. Orail, 
Fairfield, Iowa, of Third Iowa Cavalry, gave valuable in- 
formation, some of them writing repeatedly and endeavoring 
with great care to straighten out the kinks in our recoUeotions, 
and many others of Merrill Horse, each giving a corrobora- 
tion of some incident and regretting that his memory could 
go no further. 

I am particularly indebted to the Confederate soldiers of 
other commands and non-combatants here named: Mrs. 



452 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI 

Mary Love Porter Myers, Newark, sister of Colonel Porter; 
Mrs. O. M. White, Palmyra, Colonel Porter's daugliter ; Mxb. 
James W. Porter, DeWitt, Arkansas, widow of Major Porter ; 
Mrs. A. B. Glasscock, Vandalia, niece of Colonel Porter ; Mrs. 
J. W. Moore, LaBelle, sister of Lieutenant-Colonel Frisby H. 
McCuUough; Mrs. Martha W. Summers, Stronghurst, Illi- 
nois, and Mrs, Mary Wright, Eolia, Missouri, sisters of Cap- 
tain Penny ; Colonel Celsus Price, St. Louis, lately deceased ; 
Colonel Elijah Gates, St. Joseph; Captain Joseph Boyce, St. 
Louis; Captain Abner C. Grimes, St. Louis; Governor 
Robert A. Campbell^ Bowling Green ; Hoil James T. Lloyd, 
Shelbyville ; Hon. Edward McCabe, Palmyra ; Mrs. Zack. T. 
Work, Livingston, Montana, and her sister, Miss Vii^nia B. 
Cox, St Louis; Miss Lizzie Young, Florida; Miss Vene A. 
Riddle, Huntington ; Mrs. Annie Gibbs Edwards, Dameron ; 
Mrs. Arthur W. Clayton, Foley; Miss Louisa H. A. Minor, 
Eolia ; Miss Sallie Kneidey, Columbia ; Miss Minnie Oi^gan, 
assistant librarian State Historical Society, Columbia; Mrs. 
Rose Thiehoff, Hunnewell ; Mrs. T. J. Oliver, El Monte, Cali- 
fornia; Mr. Clarence A. Cannon, Troy; Mr. L. P. Roberts, 
editor Democrat, Memphis; Mr. A. P. Patterson, Memphis; 
Mr. R L. Bower, St. Louis; Mr. R. M. Wallace, DolgeviUe, 
California; Mr. W. T. Phillips, Memphis, Tennessee; Mr. 
P. H. Smith, Auxvasse ; Rev. Robert S. Duncan, Montgomery 
City, lately deceased; Mr. L. Dorsey Mudd, Montgomery 
City; Mr. A. C. Quisenberry, HyattaviUe, Maryland; Mr. 
Percival G. Melbourne, Hyattsville ; Mr. Samuel Riggs, Rock- 
ville, Maryland ; Mr. Magnus Thompson, Washington ; Judge 
J. Lee Bullock, Washington ; Miss Kathryn Mudd, my niece, 
St. Louis.